Thursday, March 30, 2017

National Black Forest Cake Day!

This holiday was actually a couple of days ago. It's my fave type of cake!😍To have a day devoted to it is awesome! It has chocolate, cherries, and whipped cream, which makes the perfect combo. Now I'm craving it...πŸ˜‹

I feel kind of bad that it's been so long.πŸ˜”I thought I'd be better about posting this year. I still can, but at my current rate, it's pretty sad. Sometimes my computer slows down as I'm writing a post, so that's one of the reasons why I haven't posted as much as I used to. Also, just saw recently that Firefox is going to drop support, at least security-wise, of Windows XP users. So, I left Chrome because of this, and now Firefox is doing it, too? Crazy!πŸ˜–

Anyways, I finished Naruto Shippuden last Friday. It ended on its 500th episode. Before that there was roughly 200 episodes of Naruto. That's a long time...😲I only skipped about 3 months of it, because they were getting really ridiculous with the side stories or 'fillers' as the main story was nearing its end. They really wanted to stretch it. (They did it before, but I think this was the worst time for it.) I still think the series overall was pretty good. The animation improved quite a bit over time, too. Hopefully this isn't too spoilery, but I knew Naruto would end up with Hinata, and they ended it with their wedding. A sweet end to it.😊 I think the actual ending was what happened right after Naruto and Sasuke's final fight. The rest seemed like they were just appealing to the fans. That's ok, though. It wasn't like those annoying side stories before. These had substance, and apparently they were based on the mangaka's (the creator of the manga/series) light novels. The last arc about the wedding was goofy and lighthearted, and that's probably what it needed. I didn't like Naruto's haircut during that time.πŸ˜’ They aged everyone after that fight with Sasuke by a couple of years. Everyone else seemed ok, and some actually looked better than they used to. However, with Naruto, his hair was super short and spiky. I don't think I would have had so much of a problem with it, if they had made it fit his head better. If that makes sense? It made that part of the animation look 'off'. There's apparently another series starting next month called Boruto. It's basically about the next generation. The main character being Naruto and Hinata's kid. I think Naruto's finally Hokage in it. I might watch a couple of episodes to see how certain character's kids turned out, who ended up together, and maybe who stayed single. Interestingly, I think Sasuke doesn't care for romance and such, so the love (more like obsession) Sakura has for him might be one-sided. Sad for her, but would be interesting to see how that turned out. I'm not going to watch more than that, because it feels like it'll be a rehashing of everything for the next generation.πŸ˜‘

Finished Ao no Exorcist or Blue Exorcist's 2nd season. It was ok. Interesting to see that arc animated. I think the next one in the manga would have been even better. The one about Izumo's family/past. They grow a lot as a group, too. Shima being a spy was a big thing as well during that one. The current arc (in the manga), I think, is a lot more complicated than the previous ones. A lot of questions throughout the series are being answered. However, with that, more questions are popping up. Even the guy who raised Rin and Yukio might not have been who he said he was, or what people thought of him. Anyways, I hope they animate the other arcs in the future.

Finished watching elDLIVE. I haven't caught up to where the anime ended in the manga. There's obviously more, since the manga's still ongoing. The anime left it wide open for a sequel, too. It was pretty good. There were little references to the mangaka's previous series: Hitman Reborn. In fact, it sounded like it was in the same universe. Like, the mafia boss' ceremony was mentioned on TV. I think Reborn's hat was in one of the episodes. Just little details, but they were nice to see.😌 Reborn is one of my faves, especially the manga version. The main character, Chuuta, in this seems a lot more capable and has more confidence in himself early on than Tsuna in Reborn. I thought that part was actually better. It was cute that the last image of the finale was elDLIVE characters dressing up in Hitman Reborn cosplay. A nice touch, too. 

Also finished the most recent season of Gintama. I hope there's another one, since they also left it open. I know it'll be the last season, so it'll be bitter sweet.πŸ˜” I thought this one would be, but they basically said it wasn't over yet at the end. They still haven't stopped Utsuro/Shoyo. He seems to have a split personality. At least Kamui seemed to come to his senses about killing his own father, and his sister if she stepped in. I like that ultimately, Kagura (his sister), won the fight and saved him from essentially killing himself. It was interesting to see who was Shoyo's first student. (When Utsuro was a teacher he used that name.) They basically set things in motion. 

There are a lot of interesting anime coming up for the next season. Kekkai Sensen was supposed to have their 2nd season during that time, but apparently that was moved to October. That's a while.😯 At least Uchouten Kazoku's 2nd season will start next month. It's been a while since the first season. Many of the others I don't know much about, but might give them a try. 

I'm getting close to finishing Bleach. I think it's been good. I've skipped the fillers, though. I think it would be frustrating to sit through them, because it seems like half the series is like that.πŸ˜’ An episode before the last one I watched, had a time skip of 17 months. Some of the characters changed their appearance, which was interesting to see. This arc seems like it'll be interesting.

One Piece has grown on me. I recently read that in an interview with the mangaka, they basically made the main character, Luffy, aro ace.😲 They said he doesn't care about romance or sex. His only loves are adventure and food. His friends are like family. Now that I've gotten a decent amount into it, that actually makes sense. Which makes me a little more interested in it. He seems childish at first, but I think he's a lot more 'with it' and mature than he lets on. Especially, when they show him alone, or his thought process when he's fighting an opponent. I think there are time skips in this one, too. The series is still ongoing with close to 800 episodes. I'm close to the 200 mark. A long ways to go, if I keep watching it.πŸ˜‰ I'm also skipping fillers with this one.

At the 2nd local ace meeting, someone else actually showed up besides Dad and I. Yay!πŸ˜€ I knew them from the other group, but it was still nice. They also landed on the ace spectrum, so it was definitely a group for them, too. It was a laid back meeting, and we veered a few times away from ace stuff, but that's ok. To be expected with so few people. I think I like the cafe it was at that time. It's a lot more open, and it feels like there's a more private area with plenty of seating in the back. So, I decided that's where the group will meet for now. I had a berry scone and an iced vanilla chai. The scone was so huge! Cake-like, too. I couldn't finish it. For the chai, it seemed like they used actual vanilla beans rather than an extract or premade stuff. They had quite a lot of different flavors for the chai. It was very interesting, and tasty. 

I'm hoping that more people come to this Saturday's meeting. I think the person that went last time liked it, so maybe they'll be there. If we have more people, we can have it more like an 'official' meeting. I can set guidelines, have people introduce themselves, talk about how we want the group to be, ask questions, talk about topics, bring up any news about the community (locally or otherwise), etc. Like many support/community groups. 

Also, at some point, I want to start a list of ace-related media. Maybe people who come to the offline meeting can give input on that, too. Media, meaning TV shows, movies, books, comics, music, etc. that might have ace characters, or ace themes, or about asexuality itself. That sort of thing. I've come across a few with just looking at news articles that groups on fb post, but never actually sat down and searched for it. Things like the uproar with Jughead from Archie, who the creator has said is ace and most likely aro, and the show Riverdale making him straight. Or, like I said with Luffy from One Piece. Even documentaries would be fine. I've seen a couple, but there aren't many of those either. I've read that there are a few ace-related songs, too. There are some ace singers/other band members. It might turn into something really cool...😎

I'm close to finishing the formatting for a print version of Alliance. After that, I'll just need to design the front, side, and back cover. I have the art designs already for the front and back. It shouldn't be too difficult to add a description on the back, do the side part, and put it all together. I think with the size I chose, which is apparently 'standard', Alliance is still going to be thick. In the Word doc, where the pages are already the size they'd be for the print, it's 300 pages. That's pretty sizeable. I think when I do Sweet Endless Terror's print version, I'll pick a smaller size for it. It has 12 short stories, and normally with Word, it's much shorter than Alliance. Like, close to half as long. Should be interesting. Also, Alliance's promo will start on the 6th. It'd be interesting if the print version is available on Amazon around the same time. It seems like having both the ebook and print versions of these will promote themselves even more. There would be more exposure, and maybe some people like having an actual book in their hands rather than staring at a screen. It'll be cool to see them in print, anyways. I think I read that they distribute their print books to many actual brick and mortar bookstores. That'll be good. I don't know what I'll price the print versions at yet. They'll probably have suggestions. It has to be enough to cover the labor involved in making them, materials, shipping them, etc. Of course, you still want enough for yourself. That's why print books are more expensive than ebooks.

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