For the Team – Free! & My Swim Story | OWLS “Team”

Chances are that if you were linked here from another blogger pal, then you might be new. To those first-timers, “Hi, I’m Takuto, welcome to my anime cafe!” As part of the OWLS blog tour’s  sixth monthly topic, “Team,” I decided to incorporate what would have been a “Cafe Talk” about my high school swimming experience, along with my thoughts on the anime Free! into one big post over sticking with a team to the end.

While the prompt was more intended as dedication to “Pride Month” and all of those who support the LGBT & Queer communities both in real life and in anime, the generosity and flexibility, as well as the promoted creativity that OWLS is known for, allows me to bend this topic back to its home nature: companionship found in teamwork. Thanks Lyn for the prompt!

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A brief discussion on the 12-episode summer 2013 anime “Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club,” and its 13-episode summer 2014 sequel “Free! – Eternal Summer,” both produced by Kyoto Animation, directed by Hiroko Utsumi, based on the original story by Kouji Ooji.

“After High School, You’re Ordinary”

This was what Haruka Nanase was told long ago and, nearing the end of his own high school experience, Haru is still unsure of what to make of his future. Swimming as early as elementary school and winning races and a tournament with his childhood relay mates—all boys with very much girlish names—Makoto, Nagisa, and Rin, Haru has always loved the water. When they all went their separate ways for middle school, Haru dropped swimming entirely. Now he’s about to enter the real world, all dried up for a life of normalcy.

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That is—until the boys reunite in high school. Only desiring to race Haru after all these years, however, Rin could care less about the old team being together—he only wants to find out that HE is indeed the better, faster, stronger swimmer.

Without Rin, the three boys form a new Iwatobi High School Swim Team, and it turns out that their first challenge is not training and practicing hard, but actually recruiting a fourth member so that their relay can face off against Rin’s team later in the season! Eventually, these boys, bound by friendship, the spirit of competition, and the love of the sport, will discover what swimming in a relay means to each of them!

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And Just Like That, We’re Off the Blocks! 

Free!, like a well-trained athlete, balances episodes of training and technique with bits of fun, slice-of-life ventures and some emotional turmoil inbound. By using races and competitions as peaks of interest (and a way to execute the boys’ hard work), everything flows smoothly and as such makes time fly by. By the end of the two seasons, all relationships and story developments feel comfortably resolved—and that’s all I can ask of most adapted works these days!

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If it’s not apparent to you yet, the boys of Free! are very beloved by its fans in the community, and for good reasons, too. They all have such great . . . chemistry, and truly, they’re more than just friends—they’re family, the kind that look out for each other before themselves, as well as value each others’ strengths and weaknesses alike. Each so unique and diverse, they all have their own personal demons, but rather than facing them alone, they fight each battle as a team, causing their bonds to develop even further. I’d dare say that Free!’s characters form one of the most heartwarming squads out there; if not the best, they’re at least favorites of mine!

Name a Better-Looking Sports Anime. I Dare You.

Looking back, Free! was the first Kyoto Animation show to leave its signature mark on my viewing experience, and boy is it delicious. Not the muscles, well, maybe the muscles. I’m talking about the water—to quote Haru, it’s as if it’s ~alive~. Their attention to how water actually flows in real life is incredible. You could almost call it “liquid smooth.” KyoAni has a splendid color palette, which is bright, airy, and cheerful, not to mention that their eye for the cool, modern aesthetic is top-notch. Color and tone values help to distinguish between scenes of comedy and rivalry. I almost feel as if I’m cleansed when I watch this show, if that makes any sense at all.

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But the boys, oh yes, they are youthful, breathtaking creatures with beautiful physiques. I said it. No regrets.

The seaside OST also provides a flowing atmosphere from scene to scene, specifically those “go out and do something wonderful” tracks like “Rhythm of Port Town” and “Revelry of Student.” What the show’s probably known for music-wise is its energetic openings “Rage On” and “Dried Up Youthful Fame” by the wild OLDCODEX. And then there’s that ending “SPLASH FREE” by STYLE FIVE, a group composed of the five lead seiyuus (loudly sings 50% OFF ver).

For the Team: My High School Swim Club Story

My 8th grade summer ushered in a whole new set of problems: high school was right around the corner, and I was a) waaaay out of shape and b) wanted to fit in. So I was just like anyone else, right?

That’s when I told myself to do a sport—my first one ever—that no matter what happened or how bad I looked, I’d do it just for the sake of doing it. I was considering track for pole-vaulting since a close guy friend of mine did it. Then I looked at tennis.

Tennis couldn’t be that bad, right?

Then summer got real hot. Like, sure, it was 90+ degrees each day, but, early on during my anime experience when I was unfamiliar with simulcasts, I ran into a 30 sec trailer for something hot.

Really hot.

It was other peoples’ phrasing, not mine!

But there was NO WAY I’d “wear a speedo.” Heck, I didn’t even know if my high school had a boys swim team. So I rummaged the yearbooks and did a little online looking and sure enough, there it was.

As the summer drummed on, Free! kept calling be back to YouTube each week where someone would upload the episodes. Not the best streaming service, but I didn’t mind. Anyway, the way their club started off so small and so closely knit, and then the fact that they were STUNNING to look at—I had to do swimming, I just had to.

Season one ended leaving me in high spirits and hopeful that whatever came that coming winter (cause that’s when swim season was here), I’d be more than ready.

Flash forward, the school announcements read off an early interest meeting for the sport. I was overly nervous, of course, but I showed up, and just like a lost freshman EVERYONE knew each other already. Like 20 guys that all were buds with each other. I was already lost, and ready to give up.

Then the first practice came, oh god, the first practice. I received swimming lessons from a countryside town growing up, and so I thought I was a champ at it. But in fact I sucked. Really bad, hahaha!

The next practice came and five or so of the team didn’t show up.

They quit. Each with their own excuses.

Wat.

There were so few members on the team that we were all considered “varsity” swimmers, so at least that was neat. Little ol’ me was varsity as a freshman!

I somehow finished that year improving times meet after meet with the other first years. But my eyes never stopped wandering off to our lane four relay. Coincidentally, or perhaps by fate, there were four of them: one for each of the strokes, one for each of the boys in Free!

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I wanted to be like them. So I worked my ass off at morning practices and afternoon practices day after day after day.

I was even awarded the “Most-Improved” on the team! Still got the medal displayed in my room.

Then they all graduated. Except for one, since he was a junior, but yeah, they all had left me. They left the team, leaderless.

My sophomore and junior years ushered in new issues. New coaches, new members joining then quickly dropping for all the same things, but the core members of the team never left, and now they’re some of my greatest “upperclassmen” friends. Facing the facts, the others just couldn’t take the heat of practice.

But I could, and I did.

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Senior year came. Three other seniors joined me, but then those same three quit the very next day. By the end we were eight strong, but became eight of the closest guys you could ever imagine. We were all swimming Free!.

But there was this one freshman in particular. He was good. Very good. Like crazy good enough to make State qualification times in our first meet.

*gulp*

Then there was me, who had actually peaked his junior year and suffered all season with a young hot-headed coach who didn’t even know what “mercy” meant.

I suddenly felt unqualified. Alone, if you will. Days grew longer, my body grew more tired, and yet my times never improved.

I even remember crying myself to sleep one night, swearing to myself that I’d quit at practice the next day. “Who even needed to say they swam for four years during high school?? It’s not like I’d remember any of it a decade later!!”

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But then I thought about me—myself, that scared little guy who, during his freshman year, witnessed several of his upperclassmen leave the lanes for good. If it weren’t for those four boys, our A-Team relay, I probably would have—

I WOULD HAVE QUIT A LONG TIME AGO.

That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t staying there for me anymore. Heck, I didn’t need swimming, or an in-shape body anymore—it’s senior year.

But what kind of message would that have sent to them, their families, this community, that a team of only freshmen and sophomores were left senior-less after they all quit??

Nope. I was there for them. For the team that never left me when I was a first year.

For the team. 

So I whipped myself back into shape, my psyche ready for any challenges that came my way, because I wasn’t swimming for my own times anymore—it was for the relay, for the team!

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This past spring, we finished seven strong with one of our guys leaving us due to his parents moving away. But we never forgot him, and we never forgot about us.

And it was that fleeting member who got us to compete at State. Relay times are generally left permanently for the team, which is why, when he left, we met consideration time. It was just a few aching days after that we found out that our qualifying time got us in.

We stayed overnight in a fancy hotel, exploring the town together with our coaches, shopping, laughing, making those kinds of memories.

The kinds you’ll never forget.

And then we swam at state. That one really good freshman OF COURSE placed in the top ten. Our relay . . .

We didn’t make it to the second day, hahaha! But we were lucky enough to even be there in the first place, right?

When our splits (individual times) were captured by our coaches and the timing mats, my own time came in:

I swam a 24-some-second 50-yard freestyle in our relay. That is, to date, the fastest I had ever swam, and I nearly cried. We were all yelling and screaming and cheering so loud that we nearly lost our voices, but we didn’t care at that point, cause we all for the most part had swam our best when it mattered most, and ya know,

That means the world to a Team Captain.

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Like Free! tries to tell us, you can be the best swimmer or the worst swimmer, but if you don’t work together as a team, you’ll never win what truly matters: friendship, companionship, brotherhood—they’re all synonymous at this point.

We go about our lives thinking and acting like we have to carry our own weight, and to an extent, that’s true. But like a relay, everything we do is ultimately for the team, for some group, tangible or not, that is bonded together through incredible triumphs, pitfalls, or just good memories.

And if you find yourself losing passion with something, or are stuck with a team that frankly isn’t filled with the most wonderful of people, then BE that wonderful person for the team. Do what I did and work your butt off, sweat your tears away, and devote everything you’ve got just to say that YOU never left them when it mattered most.

Cause ultimately, you, too, are part of a team, their team, and you should do things just like that:

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 This was a very long post (laughs) and I apologize, but there’s a lot to be said about Takuto here. A lot indeed. And if you read it all, from beginning until now, I can’t honestly thank you enough! Free! may be male fanservice to everyone’s eye, but to me, it’s a beautiful and inspirational coming-of-age story filled with compassion and teamwork that inspired me to take on a seemingly impossible journey—impossible alone, that is. It’s about growing up and finding out who you really want to be; about dedication, self-motivation, and life after graduation. Through Free! I made friends and fell in love with a sport, but more that I made memories to last a lifetime, and that’s irreplaceable.

As such, both seasons of Free! are awarded solid “Caffe Mochas” ratings, and should be watched on Crunchyroll or Funimation’s sites for FREE (hah) at one’s earliest convenience. That is, only if you’re craving something really hot.

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This concludes my June 5th (now 6th, apologies) entry in the OWLS “Team” blog tour. Being the first one to kick off a tour of this magnitude is quite a heavy weight, but hopefully I did a decent job, and now we can carry that together, right? Please tune in to Remy Fool (The Lily Garden) as he discusses the poor perception of male crossdressers in Japanese media this Monday, June 12th.

To all the guys I swam with throughout my four years, from the team that inspired me to the one that I, myself, hopefully inspired, thank you for all of the laughs and the memories—this one’s for you. Stay silly my guys. 

And to you, my favorite readers, an even greater thanks! Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, once a team captain, now just another blogger

Rei

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Bring it on, 2016

Helloooo everyone, so it’s like 4 AM and the only other person awake in the blogosphere right now is freakin’ mirrorpurple. Figures, right? Anyway, it’s been a long festive day, but the party never stops because HAPPY NEW YEAR, minna!!! If this post doesn’t show my dedication to blogging then I don’t know what will.

I thought I’d keep this short and sweet because ultimately I’ll be another “2015 Year In” post cluttering your reader, and you’ll be like “Dammit Takuto, I can’t even close the lid on this stupid reader.” We’re all thinking it, no need to sugarcoat it (even though that’s all I do in this café).

I just wanna shout THANK YOU from the top of my lungs to all of my café-goers, those quiet and those constantly keeping my mouth running!! I honestly can’t write. I have no experience with it, and I doubt my future occupation (whatever it may be) will involve writing. All I can do, and have been doing, is utilizing the skills I’ve learned through school, working and coping with what I’ve got in hopes that my façade as a “brilliant blogger” holds up and I can contribute to the anime community and chat with all you wonderful people. Also, a café isn’t very fun without visitors, is it? YOU have all been my spark for blogging, and though it’s only been what, a year and a half, my friendships with you (Especially you, yeah, you. You know whom I’m talking about) is priceless.

So why the late post? Well, I didn’t want to wish everyone a happy new year just in case the apocalypse came early, because I got lazy, and because I wanted to be the last aniblogger you heard from. With that, “Happy New Year!”

I have no New Year’s resolution because I think I swallowed it when I downed a dozen mini-red-velvet and buttercream-frosted cupcakes and Oreo truffles that I made with my sister. If that didn’t do it, then the five glasses of sparkling grape juice certainly did.

It’s been a rough year for finding my writing voice, particularly with my reviews, and the hunt is still ongoing. This year, I’d like to find it, so I suppose that would be one resolution. Please excuse the different formats and such. Your feedback fuels my drive, you know?

I don’t want to compile a list of all of my active followers because YOU ALL drop in quite often, and I yearn for every new conversation I can have with all of my dearest friends. To my newest followers and viewers, I am delighted and gracious that you have decided to stick around (I must be doing something right)!! To you, I am Takuto, your host at my anime café. It’s just another tiny nook in the interwebs where I can serve you digital drinks and cakes as my thoughts for what we love – Anime. I would cry, but then I wouldn’t be able to differentiate the cause: My overflowing emotions for all of you or the damn brightness of this laptop screen. Probably both.

Have the Happiest of New Years! I have a strong feeling that 2016 will be a good ‘un!! Let’s aim for a year full of hearty conversations and memorable moments in this little café of mine 🙂 AS ALWAYS, happy Friday, and until next time, I cherish you all more than words can express!! Good night!

– Takuto, your host

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys have apparently prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Check out my stats if you would like! They may be small compared to others, but I don’t care. I’m hella proud of what we’ve done here 😀 CELEBRATE ~!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

End of September Update 10/3/15

Konbanwa, minna, it has been a while, has it not?

If you’ve recently taken your head out of your own blogging and anime whatnot, then you might have noticed my lack of content. No, I haven’t been caught by the mafia (yet), nor am I being held ransom by some third-world pirate. I’ve just been occupied with all of the great anime I received last month. Also, it’s pretty hard to run a review-based blog when you have nothing to review! I suppose I could have written another “Cafe Talk,” but my ideas are currently in the wash – soon to be in the dryer – so you can probably expect one sometime soon, fingers crossed.

Fall has abruptly shoved its way into life here and I have no qualms about that! 60-degree weather, cloudy days starting with rain, setting my car to heat rather than fan – It’s all good stuff. This kind of weather is the best to snuggle up with some anime, and I’m going to maximize this potential before the snow falls (where I live, it’s pretty much summer-winter, no intermediates).

But you’re probably reading this for my usual update, so let’s get to it already!

Recently Finished:

selector infected WIXOSS (English dub) – While I wasn’t blown away by the voices of particular characters, I was still overall satisfied with the results. Ruko, Akira, Hanayo, Iona, and Kazuki had really nice fits, albeit Akira sounding a bit mature for her age. Yuzuki’s actor really threw me off. I was expecting Luci Christian or someone with a less “stuffy” voice, but at least the acting was fair. FUNimation really needs to get on that second season; such a cliffhanger, a true joy to revisit this hidden gem after what feels like forever!

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) Season One (English dub) – Now this one was just freakin’ epic! I admit, it took me a couple episodes to get used to hearing Rin’s voice, but once I adjusted, man, such a phenomenal dub! Just hearing Kari Wahlgren as Saber once again rouses my spirits. 🙂 I just might do a dub reaction/review like I did with ALDNOAH.ZERO just because I think it was so well done.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma –  IT’S FINALLY OVER, and I’ll be missing this one for sure. Even though the last couple of episodes were somewhat tedious and lacking, it’s unbearable to think that I won’t be tuning in each weekend to chill with Soma and the crew as they pass their trials and work hard to become master chefs. I’ll find a way to fill this void (besides by eating and trying to cook professionally). Y’all can expect a review coming within the next week or two!

Currently Watching:

The Heroic Legend of Arslan –  Yeah, I’m definitely burned out with this one; stick a fork in me, I’m done. Sh*t animation, a story moving away from the main character’s development, and the exiling of one of my favorite party members. Geez, what else could go wrong? I have two episodes left, so unless Arslan pulls his pants up, there won’t be much of a hearty review from this cafe.

Hyouka – A little over halfway through and LOVING IT!! It’s everything I thought it’d be and MORE! Wah, I’m captivated by the various mysteries surrounding the school and Oreki’s nonchalant way of dealing with the day-to-day schemes of his gray life. “I’m curious!” Give me all you’ve got, Hyouka! A review will be arriving to the menu within next few weeks 😀

I’ll be starting up A Lull in the Sea English dubbed as soon as these others are over. I’ve also picked up Baccano! because I had a $5.00 off coupon from my local bookstore (hooray for parental memberships). But I’m saving that one for a rainy night hehe, cause I foresee another grand marathon coming up! I’ve managed to persuade my siblings into “diving into the heart of terror” with Another for a Halloween celebration binge-watch. It’ll be one night of pants-wetting and eye-covering that they’ll never forget hehehe 😉 Good luck, guys.

Last but not least, I’ve read the first two of four stories from Sword Art Online Aincrad Volume Two, which encompasses Kirito’s meetups with Silica and Lizbeth (best girl kinda sorta) from the anime. Silica’s story was particularly better than the adaptation’s, or maybe it’s just been a while since I last saw the show. Probably both. Anyway, I plan to zoom through the novel so that I can read the infamous Fairy Dance arc. Why? Because there’s a stereotype that goes “books are much better than the movies that spawn from them.” I won’t lie to you guys, I actually liked this arc, and I’m one of the few to say this. I loved the first, don’t get me wrong, but the second half – to me – wasn’t all that bad. I want to see if the books provide a much better case and back up the laughable arc.

And I think that’s it. I got an old younger friend (ironic IKR) of mine into Attack on Titan just last night, so that’s always fun. Where do the days go?? September flew by and here’s October! School kids are bundling up and neighbors are putting up their ghostly decorations (and assorted pumpkins). Meanwhile, here I am still trying to reach out to the last few days of “shorts season.” Am I depressing or what (rhetorical don’t answer). Well, I suppose I’ll keep tagging in on you guys, dropping my thoughts here and there for those who care! How was your September? You ought to let me know so we can catch up in the comments below ^.^ Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Takuto’s Anime Cafe One-Year Anniversary!

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Wow, where to start? Umm, hi, my name is Takuto. I’m the host hear at the Anime Cafe. While I can’t serve actual food and drinks to you, I can bring you some savory anime reviews and worthwhile conversations. One year ago, I shyly put out the chalkboard stand and turned the “Welcome” sign facing the skies. Since then, I’ve accumulated . . .

115 posts,

about 1,451 curious visitors,

about 3,797 positive views,

about 703 gracious likes,

about 905 lovely comments,

and 98 faithful followers.

If you’ve ever liked one of my posts, followed me around, left a comment, read one of my little posts, and/or even stopped by just to see what’s up, Thank You. From the bottom of my heart. I honestly cannot think of a happier and more positive place to be in than in this very cafe – in the WordPress Aniblogger community. Thank you so much.

But I can’t stay serious for too long, you know me 😉 I’ve honestly had such a fantastic, memorable time with all of you. Whether you’ve been with me since the beginning, or we just started tagging each other >.< I hope I’ve impacted you in some sort of upbeat, smiley way, as you have on me! Please keep up the awesome support, as I will continue to boost all of you with my dull humor and fanciful comments (not really, but really) 🙂 I honestly love you guys too much, and I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed what I have been able to give you, albeit just some words on another random anime site! *raises tavern mug* Here’s to the passing year, and to the next incredible one to pass!!! *drinks heartily*

But I think I owe you all something else, too. It’s a cafe, yet not once have any of you been visually served. ENJOY~

I know it’s not nearly enough, but we’ll definitely have more celebrating in the future (like my 100 followers special, which is coming up really soon *cough cough, wink wink*) Thank you for the adventure, and until next time, this has, and always will be

– Takuto, your host

Under, Over, and About 100 (a congratulations and thank you)

Hello, all,

I still haven’t read your comments about the past couple of posts, but there’s a secret reason why – and I’m about to spill the beans. First, however, I have a cheesy little poem for you all that I wrote (but it rhymes, so we’re all good). EHERM, here we go . . .

100 is a milestone,

It’s quite the special feat.

But when you have it more than once

It’s an even greater treat.

99

Once I hit this ‘Publish’ button

I would have posted 100 posts.

It sounds small now, and it kinda is,

But that’s 100 times as “Your Host.”

Upon my birthday celebration

I was catching up in my reader.

Commenting a ton, readin’ some fun,

My notification count grew steeper.

115

Yes, it finally rang 100 –

It has never been so high!

Now I have some replies to make

Before they all slip by.

95

So 100 posts, 100 comments,

What can possibly be next?

Well, (nearly) 100 Cafe-goers

Can’t simply be expressed in a text!

Also, remember when I inquired you all

To recommend a 100th show?

All of that feedback is now in my backlog

And I’ve found one to continue the flow!

He’s actually my mascot; the symbol of myself,

From a show that I have surprisingly not seen.

I have heard oh-so many good things

About this chocolate-haired, mystery teen.

I hope and plan to start this anime soon

And award it with a “Caffe Mocha.”

Though first, just to put you at ease,

It will be the lovely Hyouka.

Hyouka

100 is a milestone,

It’s always been one of my dreams.

But when I have such a nice bunch like you all,

It’s not as hard as it seems.

So thank you very, very much

I do hope you have enjoyed my content.

For after all of those late nights, and more to come,

Without a doubt – My time’s been well spent 🙂

So that’s all I had to say. Sweet and simple if you ask me! I’m just overjoyed that I can now go read all of your comments and responses to things that I might have said on your post(s). 100, man, that’s awesome – the coffee’s gonna taste even better tonight 😀 Oh, what? You wanted some? *blends ice, adds ground beans, blends again, adds chocolate, tops with whip cream and more chocolate* Here you go – It’s on the house tonight! Haha, until the next post, this has been

– Takuto, your host

The Liebster Still Lingers (Liebster Award)

Konbanwa, minna, today I bring you my last nomination from the Liebster Award’s returning wave. The nomination was granted to me by a blogger buddy whom, though I’ve just met, have already had great conversations with. Marvelously Mismatched is her blog name and she recently wrote about her exhausting 5-hour dress shopping nightmare. I could tell you the rest, but you’d do yourself a good chuckle if you read it for yourself here.

Since this thing has already been in circulation for a while, and because I’m in a little bit of a hurry to catch a dinner with friends, I thought I would just answer her questions and provide eleven random facts. I hope that doesn’t disappoint anybody ;_;

    1. What is the weirdest thing someone has ever said to you?

Hmm, that depends . . . I don’t really keep track of this stuff either. If we’re not considering the context of the conversation, I think memes are pretty weird things to spouted on by people. A classmate of mine during class has also given me some quotes from various hentai as compliments, thinking that I wouldn’t know what she was saying . . . yeah . . . I’ll leave those out to avoid further cheek blushing o_o

    2. What would be the last thing you did if the world was going to end?

If we’re saying that planet Earth would just simply explooodde . . . I could say sit around with my family like cornered mice and pray for divine intervention, but why be boring? Time permitting, I’d watch the ends of The End of Evangelion, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Steins;Gate in that order. Yep, I sound like one crazy ********

    3. White chocolate or milk chocolate?

White with cereal and meals, chocolate as a snack. Done.

    4. If you could make any character come to life who would it be and why?

Anime only? Kyubey, hehehehe, let’s all become magical girls together.

    5. What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Besides the necessities, cause duh, but my iPad, which is the vault of my mind and the seal of my heart’s desires . . . we’re joined at the hip. 🙂

    6. What character most resembles you?

Ahh, this question returns. I’ll say Shu Ouma for now.

    7. Do you have a pet peeve and if so what is it?

So I have a small anime collection (which is steadily growing, mind you) that I probably treasure more than a newborn child. Whenever some filthy casual just comes along latches their talons on a $70 collector’s box, ripping it off the shelf as the paper on the bottom of the box scratches and fades away, I absolutely snap. Please ask next time, and gently slide the DVD out – we’re not in any hurry, I mean, it’s not like the world is ending or anything . . .

    8. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?

Either in a fancy apartment or a mansion here in the U.S., Europe, or Japan. That’s considering having the language fluent and being able to blend into the crowds well. >.<

    9. Are you a cat or dog person?

Cats, we’ve talked about this my blogger friends.

    10. What’s the most embracing (do you mean embarrassing?) thing that’s ever happened to you?

I mean, my life right now is one big slapstick comedy, so everything I do is embarrassing yet pretty normal 😀

    11. What is something or somethings you’ve never done but want to?

HAVE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL WITH TONS OF SUBSCRIBERS! It sounds like a bucket of fun, but man, do I have the guts . . . ?

And now I have eleven random facts about me:

  1. I made a buttercream frosted cake for a mini summer/anime party with my siblings and it was gone within two days. This was three days ago -_-
  2. I prefer real-life conversations where the other party asks me the questions.
  3. I love to swim, even though I’m quite mediocre
  4. Watching video games has always been enjoyable for me, but playing them, meh.
  5. My birthday is rapidly approaching . . . kinda 😀
  6. I have two cats, one gray, one orange
  7. I’m currently reading Ethan Frome as a summer reading for school and so far, I die a little inside each time I turn a page.
  8. One of my favorite book series is the Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. I read all 12 books and have not come across anything better so far.
  9. I meet with a small RPG group every other Friday or so at my house. I’m the DM, wooot!
  10. I carry around this 4 foot-ish bamboo stick that my mom bought at ACE Hardware for absolutely no reason
  11. I played Beyblade when I was in middle school – A true metal fight blader at heart!

And that’s all there is! Thank you Marvelously Mismatched for the nomination. I’m glad you think my blog is worthy of the award. Hopefully my not nominating other bloggers doesn’t throw off the balance of the universe 🙂 I’ll keep it quick, so until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

I Broke the System (Liebster Award Follow-up)

So after I wrote up my last Liebster Nomination post by One Stop for all EnterTainmenT, I thought, huh, this felt a lot shorter than my first ever Liebster Nomination. Turns out it was shorter – a whole segment shorter, might I add. On HimAwARi’s award rules, it’s missing the “11 facts about you” part (either that or I copied it wrong), so today, I will be filling you all in with random stuff about me.

And of course, this is not an excuse to ‘not write’ reviews . . . 🙂

1. Lines annoy me, but crowds make me cringe.

2. I just finished performing for a friend-of-my-mom’s wedding. My bro, sis, and myself played classical pieces as a quartet trio. It went well.

3. There’s nothing better than watching anime during a nice long rain . . . to bad it NEVER showers where I’m at.

4. Although Negima!? and Steins;Gate among a few others got me into anime, it was A Certain Scientific Railgun that gave my watching the momentum I needed to continue.

5. I am actually quite young, but I feel so, so old.

6. YouTube is equivalent to oxygen at this point, in that I consume it every day and honestly can’t live without it.

7. Have you ever online shopped, added a sh*t ton of items to your cart, glanced at the total, laughed, then exited out? That’s my life right there.

8. According to my ratchet anime list that, by the way, contains the all of the shows I have watched and the season I watched them in (because I think the season reflects the mood or something), I am watching anime number 99, Nagi-Asu. I plan on celebrating with my 100th, but I’m not sure how yet . . .

9. Though I haven’t done it enough to truly say, I have enjoyed my cosplay experience thus far. Something about putting on a costume and acting as your favorite character(s) pleases me. I mean, we should all try to have fun, right?

10. I will be watching the Madoka Magica: Rebellion dub today because I bought it on Blu-ray because I AM A DIEHARD FAN AND WILL PAY $40 FOR THIS FILM. 😀

11. Lately, I have been doing (or die trying) to fit in light morning exercises to, ahem, “stay in shape.” I looked fine before, if I do say so myself, but I think these ‘workouts’ have been slowly helping . . . yeah, helping me become exhausted.

That’s all for now! For my nominees, you can either add on these 11 facts to your posts and rules or just forget about them – sorry for the forgetfulness and for breaking the system, but in a way it wasn’t entirely my fault. I just knew that something was missing! Haha, till next time everyone.

– Takuto, your host