Day 43 of Anime

Day 43 - Which anime had the greatest impact on your life (oddly deep)

I guess I can’t well say Inuyasha or Natsume Yuujinchou this time around, huh? Well I guess the anime which had the greatest impact on my life (technically series, but you know..) would be Katekyo Hitman Reborn. Through that series I met a lot of different people and expanded my community a million times more than trying to connect with fans of Inuyasha and Rurouni Kenshin - two fairly old series where ‘active’ fans were likely to have disappeared to new fandoms already.

Through it, I improved my writing skills (though I’ve since lost it again) and began writing gay pairings, I digged myself deeper into the world of yaoi, I learnt about the craziness of fandom such that pairing names were written with numbers (1827, 6918, 8059, D18, DS, XS…etc). I started to draw guys rather than my usual 99% female cast, I started to attempt to draw more animals and I learnt how to draw spiky hair - kind of. I did roleplay of lots of different characters on different communities and became exposed to different networks and styles (writing and drawing). I became more adventurous with digital art and colouring, and I created icons and did ‘manga colourings’ in various weeks.

It also kept me sane while I was pretty much sinking when doing my first internship. Probably I should have tried harder and made a better impression, but I simply didn’t want to be there and fandom and KHR got me through it. Guess that should have been a sign I just don’t suit desk work.

There was a lot the series gave and while I’m no longer an active fan and I’m sure other fans have also swum to some greener fields, it’s still a fandom which I think about fondly. Sometimes I kind of wish I could go back to those times, but a time past is a time gone. Still, I hope one day to meet those friends with whom I became so close with online and we can reminisce and fan over the same things once again, despite how we’ve diverged.

Superannuation Lessons

I finally checked my superannuation account in a long time today, and it was strange to find some sort of fee which I hadn’t expected to see, e.g. ‘Contributions Tax’. A week or so ago I’d had to deal with an annoying phone call where they had insisted that I should have around 20K in super by now on my current salary - and I didn’t. Even with considering that there were different forms of employment in that time and it wasn’t the same salary (or same job) the whole time, I thought it was a bit strange that the figure was so low and took a look.

At first I thought I’d somehow been jipped of almost $1K in super, but after cooling off for a bit and doing some research, it seems evident now this is tax? It’s strange to me that we would be taxed on what is our retirement money, but I guess that should have been expected.

So here are some superannuation lessons/facts that I found out anyway, summarised without all the jargon flooding it and requiring you to download this PDF or jump to yet another page.

  • Employer superannuation contributions (concessional contributions) are 9.5% of ordinary time earnings
  • Employer and salary sacrificed contributions are taxed at 15% (unless income+super > $300,000, or no TFN (up to 49%))
  • If you earn $37,000 or less, this tax is returned to the super account through Low Income Super Contribution
  • Personal after-tax contributions are not taxed (max $30,000 including employer contribution)
  • Super calculated quarterly, and there is a cut off date. If not paid by the cut off date, employer pays a super guarantee charge to ATO. Charge includes shortfall amounts, interest at 10% p.a. and administration fee of $20 per worker per quarter. Employer misses out on tax deduction.

Day 42 of Anime

Anime straps on my keys

Day 42 - Favourite anime merchandise that you have or wish you have

Did you think I was going to say an anime figure? It’s true, I do have a lot of anime figures and I do really like quite a lot of them - some particularly mentionable ones are: Kyoto Animation’s Nagato Yuki (from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya), Sakura Saber, Luke fon Fabre from Tales of the Abyss (re-release), Oshino Shibobu by Good Smile Company (re-release).

But a favourite piece of merchandise? That’s hard to say.

The merchandise I wish I could have is slightly easier. There’s plenty of manga and figures that I would want, but if I were to decide on what to wish for next, this would probably be top of my list ever since I bought and gifted it to Jane many, many months ago: Gray Fullbuster 17 scale from Good Smile Company. Sure, he doesn’t look exactly like I know him (from manga, whoops), but he’s really well sculpted and - here’s the amazing part - his arms are magnetic making it super easy to put his shirt on or off - at least heaps easier than figures I’ve seen being released currently where you still need to yank hard to remove and push hard to pop them back in.

Knowing Gray, he’ll be taking that shirt off a lot anyway - that’s in character by the way, not perversion. ;) It’s really nice to see more male figures out for us girls.

Now, back to favourite piece of merchandise - to be honest I probably have to go with my new(-ish) straps if you asked me at this current day, age and time. Getting my Grell Sutcliffe strap and actually intending to use it spawned a new obsession for anime character straps and I’m pleased that for a change I’m actually using my merchandise rather than letting it sit around forever, just getting lost within my drawers or gathering dust. There are still straps I can’t bear to use unless I’ve got a spare in case the one I have breaks/is damaged, but I’m stoked that I have merchandise I can use for a change.

Other than that, I probably have to go with my extensive manga collection. :) Is that technically ‘anime merchandise’, I’ll leave that to you to decide again. BUT if you don’t like that either, I’ll go with my delightful Nagato Yuki figure which cost me quite a bit to obtain given it’s limited release and released by Kyoto Animation themselves rather than licensed out. Detailed to an extreme, my only concern is I have no idea where the supporting ‘stick’ that came with the figure goes. The jacket needs extra support, but despite looking around I can’t find a way to prop the stick under it. Apparently I need an instructional manual.

Day 41 of Anime

Free set in Sydney

Day 41 - Favorite setting/scenery from an anime

Hahahaha. Well, the feeling of being able to recognise these places, and also being able to go there and visit if I wanted is just so novel. I do think it was particularly well drawn and animated, yet at the same time wasn’t Garden of Words level of amazing. Still, it’s a great memory and chance for us Sydney-siders to flaunt our city.

Central Station in Sydney, and Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Woolloomooloo above.

Though just to be aware, Sydney’s police uniforms look nothing like this.

Day 40 of Anime

Day 40 - Favourite seiyuu (voice actor)

Although I’ve got a lot of voice actors I really like, the one that originally rekindled my love of anime was none other than the man we affectionally call OnoD (Ono Daisuke) in his role as Yagami Kazuma in Kaze no Stigma as a bitter and experienced, yet charming and wicked magic user, returning to a family who discarded him. I’ve been following him around ever since, and while I’ve not achieved 100% success by any means, for this reason he will forever be my favourite seiyuu despite liking a lot of other ones too.

He’s also played characters such as Sebastian Michaelis in Kuroshitsuji, Nikaido Akira in Monochrome Factor, Satsuki Kakeru in 11eyes, Tsukishima Izayoi in Miracle Train, Jack Vessalius in Pandora Hearts, Heiwajima Shizuo in Durarara!!, Llama in Shirokuma Cafe … and heaps more. One of my particular favourite roles other than Kazuma is when he voiced Saitou Yakumo in Shinrei Tantei Yakumo.

Doesn’t hurt he’s got a killer singing voice too, though not all the songs written for him are always that well arranged in my opinion. I don’t think the Sebastian Michaelis character song does the character or the voice actor justice, personally. I do love

Of course I’ve got a long list of male seiyuus that I follow, but there are a lot of amazing females too - unfortunately some of them really aren’t very prolific, same as how some of the male ones aren’t. Let’s finish with the always-popular list, where I mix up first names and last names…

Male Seiyuu

  • Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch vi Brittania in Code Geass, etc. Many credits.)
  • Hidekazu Ichinose (Gokudera Hayato in KHR, etc. Few credits)
  • KENN (Dino Cavallone in KHR, etc. Some credits.)
  • Takashi Kondou (Hibari Kyouka in KHR, etc. Some credits.)
  • Kappei Yamaguchi (Inuyasha in Inuyasha, etc. Many credits.)
  • Takahiro Sakurai (Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy, etc. Many credits.)
  • Miyano Mamoru (Ichinose Hayato in Uta no Prince-sama, etc. Many credits.)
  • Masakazu Morita (Barnaby Brooks Jr in TIGER & BUNNY, etc. Many credits.)

Female Seiyuu

  • Junko Takeuchi (Naruto from Naruto, etc. Many credits.)
  • Ryoko Shiraishi (Onizuka Himeko Sket Dance, etc. Many credits, but I’d never met her previously)
  • Maaya Uchida (Ichinose Hajime from Gatchaman Crowds, etc. Many credits)
  • Minori Chihara (Nagato Yuki from Haruhi, etc. Many credits.)

Just a few that I could think of for now.

Day 39 of Anime

Day 39 - Worst anime you've seen

I feel like this is almost a repeat of what anime do you regret watching, but I guess they can be different. Like I said last time, if it was really that bad I probably would have stopped watching it in the first episode or very shortly after.

Just to confirm though, I went and watched a bit of Clannad again to see whether I really couldn’t stand it, and found myself understanding the main character more than I would have expected. Going back to a home that he doesn’t want to go to? Yeah, I can understand that. But their meeting under the trees still makes no sense to me. I like the character design of the series, the memes (dango dango dango dango~) and so on, but I’ve never been able to get past the first episode. Warrants another try?

So if not Clannad, what was the worst anime I’ve seen? Still a difficult question.

Actually, while thinking about this, there might actually be an anime that I regret watching. I kind of regret holding out for Walkure Romanze to become more than just a an ecchi anime. It started out alright, a girl, a horse, knights and training to become a knight - a setting that really sounds interesting. Then it just sort of descended into unclothing and nudity, which is a shame.

Another anime that I now remember the name of and regret watching even just the one episode of in the anime club is Excel Saga. I simply can’t stand the levels of pure, utter craziness that seep from the pores of each second.

It’s a hard battle between either of these series I would consider ‘worst’ then. They’re bad in different ways. I guess I’ll let you make the choice.

Day 38 of Anime

A sword is a weapon. The art of swordsmanship is learning how to kill. That is the truth. What Miss Kaoru says is sweet and innocent talk that only those whose hands have never been stained with the blood of men can believe. But, to tell you the truth, I much prefer Miss Kaoru’s sweet and innocent talk over the truth, indeed I do!

Day 38 - Favourite quote from an anime series

Honestly, as with various other topics on this list, I don’t know what to pick for this other than perhaps “Juudaime!”, but you can never really go with Rurouni Kenshin. This line was a thrill when reading it for the first time in the manga, was exciting when Kenshin appeared while saying that in the anime. And yet still entirely enjoyable when he appeared while saying that in the movie. It speaks of his ideals and subtly points at his past at the same time. No matter how it’s translated, you get the picture - despite knowing the truth of the world, he hopes for a better one.

But it’s not all ‘inspirational’ quotes, right? Some gold from Gokudera, of Katekyo Hitman Reborn:

I got run over a few times on my way here!

I also found an interesting quote from Grisaia no Kajitsu while trying to jog my memory though. Maybe this anime is worth another try:

There are only two times when a man can cry in public: when he loses his wallet and when his mother dies. And even if you cry in private, there's a severe restriction. Shed tears for others. The only thing you should be shedding for yourself is sweat. Remember that.

Day 37 of Anime

Day 37 - Favorite Vocaloid song

My favourite Vocaloid song used to be Just be Friends, which was the song that honestly got me into Vocaloids and opened the door to this strange and amazing new world. It was there for me at an interesting time of my life and provided some relief for me, though ultimately didn’t make the situation better. Oh well, it can’t save the world.

Nowadays, my favourite Vocaloid song is Cantarella. But while I like the Gakupo and Luka version (more my taste than Miku and Kaito), I still prefer the utattemita version with Dasoku accompanied by Luka which packs a real punch of emotion. Dasoku’s voice is really rich and full, which cannot be matched by a Vocaloid nomatter how much it tries. But Luka’s voice is perfect for the backing track. Dasoku is the real reason I love this song.

So if we take Cantarella out of the draw, I would have to go with Romeo and Cindarella above featuring Gakupo and Luka which I like the ‘pure’ Vocaloid version of, without having to delve into utattemita. To be honest, there are better arrangements of the song, but they’ve since become buried in the endless pit that is the internet.

I don’t even know how I came across this song now, but despite it originally being sung by Miku I much prefer it being sung by Luka who has a lower and more soothing voice somehow. I like Miku’s voice in certain situations, but generally her songs are rather high. I guess I just like her more ‘mature voice’ similar to how I liked Racing Miku’s mature face?

Some other songs that I came across before and liked though are such as Jinrou Kyoushikyoku (Luka and Gakupo), Rolling Girl (Miku), Black Rock Shooter (Miku, of course), Shinkai Shoujo (originally Miku, but I like this utattemita), and Double Lariat (Luka). And most things by Dasoku and Freedel, to be honest. Heh.