Summer Musings I: Jiufen

Jiufen tea house

The last semester has been a busy, stressful blur. Now that I am finally on winter break, I can take the time to think back fondly to that satisfying, warm summer. This is part one of two photo posts about my summer, 2013.

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Tari Tari: On Passion

miyamoto konatsu okita sawa sakai wakana swimsuits tari tari

Prom was in a month, and all the high school seniors were scrambling to find dates, lest someone ends up a loner in this momentous dance of our lives—well, for those without partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, or implicit best friend at least. Conversations and gossips all revolved around who was going to prom with whom, who got rejected by whom, and most importantly, who were still available. As usual, I was chatting with my friends in our free period after lunch. This particular day, we had a junior girl with us. We were hoping to set her up with this desperate kid in our group. As we prodded and sugarcoated and romanticized and gauged her interest, I asked her what she finds hot.

“Yea, I like it when someone’s really into something and take hella time to work at it.
“Like what?”
“Like water polo or wrestling or something.” (My school had a killer water polo and wrestling team.)
“Or like Magic Cards?”
“Uh… Yea… I guess?”

Although the prom date did not quite pan out—I guess my friend needed to be a little better at Magic—the conversation struck me. Indeed, there is something very attractive about passion.
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On Kaori Yuki and Gothic Horror

alexiel angel sanctuary yuki kaori

A cult classic mangaka among shoujo manga enthusiasts, Kaori Yuki has published several notable works in the genre, including Angel Sanctuary—my personal favorite. Her manga all have a markedly distinct flavor: gothic horror. This post is a celebration of that literary style and, more importantly, of Kaori Yuki.
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Adventure, Books, Cake, Pina

This gallery contains 5 photos.

March has been kind to me, although it has been a chaotically busy time. School is now in full swing, and, with work in the morning and a vibrant social life, my time these days are productive, exhausting and slightly—very—frantic. … Continue reading

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The Aesthetics behind Eyes Concealment: Long Bangs

by Kai and Yi.

Mirai Nikki Yuno Gasai

Anime has always been a world filled with visuals of thorough imaginations. There are quite a number of interesting anime looks, like the presence of fangs for one, or animal ears. There is however, one other intriguing thing—the art of “eyes concealment”—through the use of long bangs.

Among an anime characters’ physical features, none is more expressive than the eyes. The range of emotions and information contained in one’s eyes supersedes other non-verbal signals. Particularly, in a medium often limited by and styled through simplification, characteristic distortion, and constrained motions, anime relies heavily on the eyes to convey the subtle details that may otherwise be lost. Disgust, for instance, is a universal expression that presents a very distinguished, but relatively understated look—a wrinkled nose and raised upper lips and cheeks. Yet, anime aesthetics forgo the details that a disgusted face wants. The alternative: a simple distortion of the eyes (and perhaps with some shadows for added effect). If eyes are so important for expression, what then does concealing them do?

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