Tomikohara's avatar

Tomikohara

  • Canada
  • Joined Dec 23, 2007
  • 28 / F

I've been watching anime since many years; I started with shows like Dragonball Z (the show that got me hooked to anime), Pokemon and Digimon on YTV channel. Little did I know then that so much more (and better) anime existed out there!

I enjoy all kinds of genres, but I tend to lean towards person-in-a-strange-world, post-apocalyptic, adventure, martial arts, survival, fantasy, medieval, melancholy, slice of life, romance and shoujo... I'm less fond of shows like Air, Kanon etc with super stereotypical girls and cliche storylines with atleast one girl who's really stupid silly and makes strange sounds all the time or the shows where a guy suddenly has a girl make herself at home at his place and 1/2 the show consists of your usually accidental nudity-ness and face-inbetween-legs... I'm not too fond of mecha/pilot shows either unless they're decently realistic and followed by an engaging plot. Comedy's always good, unless it's the repetivite guy-falls-onto-girl-accidental-groping stuff. But really, anything that has a great, unique, thought-out storyline. Let me know if you come across a very realistic show with little plot holes and cliches, with a thought out and thought provoking storyline that I haven't seen.

I prefer Subs over Dubs any day, and I never rate anything lower than 2 or higher than 4.5; That's just the way I am... I also become quite the critic in face of a show that has a weak story and many plot holes, especially when it's a more serious series.

I have a deep love for anime music. Some anime OST's that I really enjoy: Hirasawa Susumu, .Hack, Death Note, Tsubasa Chronicles, Code Geass, Fate/Stay Night, Naruto/Naruto Shippuuden, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni & Kai, Full Moon Wo Sagashite, Shakugan no Shana & Second,Basilisk, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Uverworld,  TM Revolution, Clannad, Kiyoharu, D. Grayman, Rocky Chack, L'arc En Ciel, Ghost in the Shell, Eureka Seven, Maaya Sakamoto, The Pillows, and I really enjoy Minoru Shiraishi's performances (and his troubling relationship with Akira in LS ^.^)

It's hard for me to choose a Top 5 list, but lets just say Death Note, Mushishi, Nana, The Twelve Kingdoms, and Samurai Champloo. Other shows that I really enjoyed that didn't make my Top 5 list, in alphabetic order: Basilisk, Boogiepop Phantom, Claymore, Fullmetal Alchemist, Haibane Renmei, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni & Kai, Kino's Journey, Kurau Phantom Memory, My-Hime, Ouran High School Host Club, Paranoia Agent, (Peacemaker Kurogane), Towards the Terra, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. I've yet to make a proper, thought-out top 5 list.

Just in case you're wondering, the girl in my avatar and signature is the awesome Sunako from Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge!

When I'm not watching anime, I'm baking healthy vegan recipes for my blog http://nocrapdiet.wordpress.com, making one-of-a-kind jewelry on Livejournal (gemstone_jar), listening to AnimeNfo Radio, and planning crazy adventures and roadtrips across Canada. If you're looking for any cosplay jewelry or clay character keychains, ask me and I'll see what I can do! =) I'm interested in cosplay and I've made a costume for someone before, but I have yet to cosplay myself. I'm waiting to find a character that I look very similar to.

Check out Animenfo Radio @ animenfo.com/radio !

Life on anime

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Comments

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Kilplow says...

I had similar discussion with a friend a few months back about hentai. My argument was the if hentai had a good enough plot, it didn't need the hentai elements. That being said, a few of the shows I actually have liked, have had hentai elements included in the games. The only game I've played was actually Utawarerumono--I loved the tactical perspective and the fact it actually was hard once you went through it once--but the H scenes were completely awful--like an afterthought. I guess they are ways to make something a "safer" investment.

With poetry, I would just tirelessly tackle the same subject matter from a new angle again and again. When your heart starts to open up to someone like that for the first time--yeah it's something else. I lived to write back then. I wasn't cool enough for her group of friends--though I never thought they treated her well enough. I was stupid and stubborn to hang on as long as I did. In the end, writing everyday helped a lot to develop my skills--even my old journal had the same effect.

Have you ever read the Evil Overlord list? Or rather things to do or not do if you ever become an Evil Overlord. It is a really funny read--basically makes fun of all the common mistakes you see in books and movies.

Dec 11, 2008
Kilplow says...

I suppose I should first say, for the longest time in my life, friends were my religion. They were the most important thing to me--I found meaning in my friendships--purpose if you will. It was a hard lesson to see my two best friends fall from the pedestals and shatter. So I am more prone to consider moving away--it is still hard. In college, I had a semester when my roommate got deployed and I basically didn't interact with anyone. I thrived being alone--I had days were I didn't say ten words. I sometimes fear for that to repeat though, because my life seemed pale and shallow.

I should probably add, I really like a young woman in the area. We are very good friends, which probably works against me as much it helps me. She's aware of my feelings, but not interested. Perhaps I keep hoping in vain, she'll change her mind. I don't think she will, but its fun to dream.

Actually I started writing poetry in High school. I was a very prolific poet. Over the course of about three months I wrote nearly 400 poems. Mostly about a girl. I thought about writing a book but I liked poetry because it required less editing. There's an old saying that a book is never finished, the author just gives up. But anyway, in order to give the girl a chance to read them without making her too uncomfortable, I submitted about six of my best to our school newspaper. They turned me down, then the next day I submitted fifty more. Oddly, they liked some I couldn't stand, but poetry is so hit and miss. I still write poetry rarely, but usually only when I get really inspired--or when an important holiday is coming up--the last time I had a girlfriend I gave her a poem for major days like Valentine's day. I had an online journal before they were cool--started in 1999 and still write there a bit. It was a valuable tool to get used to writing on a daily basis.

I suppose the easiest way to talk about my book is to talk about other things I liked. I really liked "Wizard's First Rule" and the "Wheel of Time"--one thing I noted was they both really go into quite a bit of detail about the villains--the "Wheel of Time" due to its great length has entire chapters about the villains while "Wizard‘s First Rule" devotes a few chapters so you get a good feel for the villains. No matter how cool your hero is, if you don't develop your villain from the generic evil overlord, then your book falls flat. Basically the villain has to be really effective for your hero to be really effective. Too often do we get the Sauron's generic and evil--we don't know why he wants to destroy middle earth and there's no traits that really characterize him besides boring evil for the sake of being evil. Even with motivation, your villains needs to think of himself not as a villain. No one thinks they are evil.

Basically from the point, I have two stories going on--one is about the hero and one is about the villain, one in the past, one in the future. The book will end when the two stories collide. The trick is, I don't tell you who is the hero and who is the villain--my title is "Beyond the point of good and evil." That's something the reader has to decide for him/herself. There's plenty of room for foreshadowing--it's a magic fantasy book, so there's prophecy and symbolism as well--I focus heavily on character development and dialogue, though I do have some pure actions scenes as well. I am working heavily on making all the characters likeable but flawed.

I really feel I need to go back and add more description to the book--I really take my time in advancing the plot, so I've the opposite problem you do. I try to end each section on a cliffhanger, forcing the reader to read on. I've been told it's a dastardly thing to do. It's only 5 chapters so far, of a projected 8, but honestly each chapter is about as long as three chapters in a normal book.

If you want to read it, drop an email address and I'll send the first chapter. No hard feelings if you don't want to. I've had a dozen people look at the first chapter literally, and none of them have gotten through it and read more, except one person--incidentally the friend whose work I edit.

The problem with Hollywood is it is a risk to try new and innovative stuff--the budgets are huge on movies because celebrities are paid such outrageous amounts. You see the same thing in anime but the numbers are smaller budget wise, so innovative is more common. There's literally the same types of shows that come up again and again--often they rely on sex appeal (because sex sells everything). Or you'll see more hybrids--a mix of what is established as something that sells with a new twist.

Dec 10, 2008
Kilplow says...

I really have been impressed thus far with Dennou Coil--it is like a combination of Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei, and Ghibli films in general. It is very watchable with its action sequences, but mostly I am curious where the plot will go. Before too long we'll see a bunch of new installments of strong shows--the second season of Haruhi, the Utawarerumono Ovas, Tsubasa second group of OVAs, and again Higurashi. Clannad has a sequel called the "Clannad After story." I've been waiting for it to finish before starting it.

As for my own life, I changed jobs in June for a better paying one (though worse work), but my entire facility was laid off by mid September. I've been job hunting without too much success--I really want a career job rather than another pointless dead-end one. Honestly, I haven't been too worried just yet--I just have to break down and leave the area, including my friends and family. I really know that I should, its just hard.

Everyone I know thinks I am crazy (except one person), but I am writing a book. It's 49,000 words--most finished books fall between 70,000 and 110,000. I've been sorta putting off finishing it, because I really don't want to let the characters go. I've a really good idea where it is going though--I won‘t bore you with the complicated concept. One of the things I've read is the first book an author writes is terrible--the value is in the learning experience.

I read virtually nothing except to edit it anymore--one of my friends writes stories (actually books really by their length, but they just keep going without end. She can‘t end them for the life of her.). I've only read maybe a dozen books this year--I reread Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and read let's see--Enchanter by Sara Douglass, Funny in Farsi, the Weight of Water, and a green book about living in your footprint. That's it really.

I suppose I am the opposite--I read fantasy and enjoy fantasy more than anything else. When I was younger I read nonfiction, especially history quite often--and would listen to the history channel even while doing other things or A&E. After a certain point, I changed and was much more interested in magic and fantasy than reality. I read dozens upon dozens of high fantasy books and got into anime because of Western culture never tried to reinvent the idea of magic. Hollywood is just about special effects rather than the having interesting concepts. Since then, I've realized the one common trait in shows that I liked was strong characters. I find myself willing to watch or read almost anything if the characters are compelling--if they fail to be likable or are boring, then the work fails. I also really like when you walk away from something and feel "changed". Philosophy can hide in fantasy much better than most type of fiction.

Anyway, it is definitely nice to hear from you again. Take care.

Dec 9, 2008
Kilplow says...

I figured you were busy--I certainly have no right to complain after taking months of hiatus.  Bokurano is certainly very interesting, but the stories "jump the shark" a bit towards the end.  Its strongest stories are through the first half, without a doubt.  Reminds me a bit of Shinigami's Ballad.  Its the only thing I've been able to get Freewind to watch lately.

I've been pretty interested in Dennou Coil as well--it reminds me alot of Spirited Away.  I could certainly see why you might have stalled on it, I was just curious of your thoughts.

Since I've finished Higurashi I am really curious where the story will go next.  I can only think the last little story the show is a clue.  I remember reading the first season was called "questions" and the second is "answers".  It stands out enough that even friends that don't anime, demand more Higurashi.

Other than that, I've been watching mostly entertaining shows rather than things that I think are particular amazing.

Dec 8, 2008
Kilplow says...

It's been awhile, due to time constraints and changes in life I've taken a hiatus from anime in general--but finally my life has freed up a bit more, so I've started catching up. And I think I've found a gem.

Bokurano's first credit is its opening them is "Uninstall" by Chiaki Inshikawa. The song fits the anime almost perfectly--I can hardly think of a song I‘ve liked so much that works so well. It is beautiful by haunting even ethereal.

As I sit here searching for words, I find there's not much I can say without spoiling it. This show doesn't pander to any of the normal avenues of entertainment, is almost completely intellect. It is akin to something like Haibane Renmei or Serial Experiments Lain in a way, but it is also very different. So much trouble and I am only four episodes in.

With minor spoilers about theme--I'd compare it to "Lord of the Flies"--you have children representing different philosophical viewpoints. If you haven't read the book, basically it is about children being stranded on an island and being forced to make their own "government"--trying democracy and eventually it falls apart into a might makes right society. It's a brutal book and a ghastly look at the human condition.

With spoilers about the summary, essentially you have a group of children enter a Faust like bargain--pilot a giant robot to fight "enemies" as part of a game to be heroes. The children are a mixed group--each one I can already tell represents a belief set. Their guide is aptly named "Dung Beetle"--he's no cute mascot. Of course, there's a heavy price to be paid as well.

Unlike many animes--this show takes time to show the massive causalities involved in a fight between mecha. It seems more realistic and devastating. Unlike something like Code Geass where the mecha move effortless and quickly, the mecha in Bokurano are slow and clumsy. It seems again more believable.

Something like Utawarerumono is a mix--it has many aspects in it. It could be viewed simply as entertainment--in any number of categories, but there's also philosophy supporting major themes. Haibane Renmei is symbolic and heartwarming story, that assists the watcher in examining his or her own beliefs. Despite, having barely scratched the surface, if the first four episodes are any yardstick, I believe that Bokurano very well might be the most philosophical and self examining work I've seen in years in the medium of anime. I highly recommend.

Nov 30, 2008