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"Mind" Field
Author: Blaquestarr
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Tags: random, life, anime, games, comics
The self-indulgent warped space known as my mind. Watch your step, because you are stepping on dangerous ground. This is an explosion of creativity and sillines...
The Search for the Perfect Wall Scroll
As a card carrying Otaku, and member of the illustrious Fangurl society, there is one thing I really love, but am extremely picky about - Wall Scrolls.
I mean, Wall Scrolls say alot about you and your likes and even your artistic sense.  And desptie what you may be thinking, they ARE very different from posters and fan art.  Wall Scrolls are meant to take up significant portion of your wall, therefore becoming a centerpiece of a room.  The fabric/mesh materials remind me of giant billboards on the highway, directing you to new and exciting characters or series.  Most Wall Scrolls are made as official art from the series, so they definitely tell a story.  And the rolling columns that allow for easy storage and easy mounting make this type of artwork as precious as a secret ninja technique scroll.

My problem, however, is that because they ARE official art from publishers, it can be very hard to find that PERFECT scroll.  You love a particular series, but you like certain characters more than others, but the scroll that has your favorite character might feature a bunch of other characters that you care nothing about.  Or you find a good scroll with the right characters, but the background is off or the composition itself is sloppy.  Or you find that GiTS: SAC Tachikoma scroll, but there's a naked Motoko next to them. >_<  Truly frustrating.

I bring this whole thing up since I spent a good 3/4 weeks looking for a wall scroll for a friend of mine who was having little luck himself at finding that perfect piece of art to fill an empty spot on his wall.  I started looking at licensed stores back home in Georgia during the holidays, since I use to find good ones in a brand store called "Hello Cutie" - Nothing but Naruto, Code:Geass and Soul Eater scrolls.  Some cool, but he's not a Naruto or Soul Eater fan.  Which brings me to another problem with Wall Scrolls being licensed art - the ones you find or time sensitive to what's actually popular.  Back in high school, I could find tons of Inuyasha, DBZ, Trigun, and some obscure anime wall scrolls, but now that only a couple of series are really popular, they dominate the offerings, especially in smaller stores and street vendors.  As seen when I went to various comic book stores in hopes of finding something I liked and he would appreciate as well.  Even in Chinatown, the anime shop mostly had Naruto scrolls (although there were 2 AWESOME Toshiro Hitsugaya scrolls that I melted for and have to go back and get *squeal*). Where was the grown man anime? Then I went to a Japanese book store near my job - I'm sure to find something there, right?  Well, it gave me good ideas for what I wanted for him, but nothing exactly.  And I was pissed off they had a Belldandy scroll but not one of Urd.  I would have definitely gotten him that one! *face_pout*

It looked like I would have to go out to Queens to their China(Asian) town and hit some of the street markets there - or maybe just wait until Katsucon (vendors galore with random assortment of wall scrolls) - until I found a nice Afro Samurai grayscale wall scroll that finally spoke to me at Forbidden Planet.  Is it perfect?  Not quite - but as close as I've found so far (I almost ended up getting him a transformers vs. G.I. Joe poster, I was so through with the search).  But maybe that's the nature of this whole thing - that the search will always continue because you want that perfect scroll.  While I may be happy with the Hitsugaya today (like I was with my Trunks back in High School), whose to say tomorrow I won't find a yaoi scroll of my dreams? For right now, though, I hope he likes what I got him. ^_^
01/27/2010 1 Comments | Add Comment
It's Been a Minute
So, it's been a minute since the last time I've posted.  Actually, it's been weeks since I've been on OSN at all.  The Holiday season, actually being EXTREMELY busy at work, and going home (no real internet access while traveling back and forth) kept me from just getting on the network and doing what I started making it a habit to do.

But now, I have to reform my habits.  Making it a point to log on everyday and time a blog post at least once a week.  I hate starting stuff and not finishing it, so I'm trying to put a stop to that in general.  I started this blog, I won't let it fade out (or my other blogs while I'm at it...)

But what's in a minute? An anime minute can drag on for EPISODES (as DBZ or Yu-Gi-Oh) or volumes of manga (that last minute to play KILLS me in sports manga like Eyeshield 21).  You can have a flashback, revelation, discover a new poser, and save the day all in one minute.  Now that's using time effectively.  I think I'll harness the anime time continum to be a more effective blogger in the future.

Signing out!
01/13/2010 0 Comments | Add Comment
Holiday Well Spent (kinda)
Happy Belated Thanksgiving, everyone.

Seriously, 2 and a half days off of work, I thought I would be making blog posts like crazy, catch up on my AMV making, as well as upload all my Anime USA vids and pics.

At least I managed to put all the AU pics and vids on my computer. ^_^'

Instead, what I did was watch anime and read (and sleep!).  I finally got to my Tenchi Muyo collection and watched the last season.  I tried the dub version first, but the VAs were all different from the original 1st 13 eps, that I couldn't deal, so I switched over to the Sub version.  As much as I like Tenchi and the girls (thinking about cosplaying as Mihoshi one con and Ryoko is one of my anime rolemodels), the additional episodes really just completely confused me.  Especially since they were trying to explain what the LightHawk Wings really were and how Tenchi is special and why the three Goddess may or maynot really be Goddess...basically didn't doesn't flow into a complete story but conjointed ideas that randomly take place.

Then again - the random day-by-day ness of the Tenchi series is was makes it kind of endearing.  And I enjoyed it.  Ultimately, though, I think Tenchi Universe may be my favorite of the Tenchi series.

Plus I finished rewatching my awesome Pretear boxset (thanks, again, OSN!) and Advent Children (just because I can).

I also got around to reading most of the 15 manga I picked up at AU.  I'm surprised I waitied that long to actually start collecting Her Majesty's Dog.  I really love that series, and the manga-ka's newest series Bound Beauty (although I can't seem to find the 4th and 5th volumes ANYWHERE!)  I also picked up Slam Dunk by accident thinking it was another baskeball manga I started reading at NYAF (I think it's called Harlem Beat).  Oh well, at least I'm adding to the collection.  And while speaking of Slam Dunk and Baskeball manga - REAL is such a good series.  Good and depressing.  My roommates were staring at me yesterday as I threw the 2nd volume across the room because I was so upset.  I relayed what was going on in the story and one of my roomies was like "all that happened in that book?  What is it?  A novel or a comic book? cuz I'm getting depressed just listening to you describe what's going on." No one can ever say that manga isn't deep.

And I got all caught up on Fairy Tail!  I really want to watch the anime, but my computer is being a BIOTCH!  I really think it's my Video Card and driver, since it only likes to crash when I'm watching something on my computer (whether I'm streaming anime or the latest sci-fi drama on Hulu).  I want to get a new computer all together, but a new video card would just be cheaper.  Especially since I sunk nearl $200 in getting my computer repaired when it stopped booting up all the way back in August.  *sigh*  Computers - can't live with them, can't live without them. :p

All in all - not leaving my house for a couple of days, plenty of turkey and pies, and anime and manga at my easy disposale (minus the computer), it was a good holiday.  Can't wait for Christmas!  (maybe by then my DS will be working properly and I can finally beat KH 358/2!)
11/30/2009 0 Comments | Add Comment
Being an Otaku @ home
The video blog post option shuts my web browsers (both Explorer and Mozilla) down everytime I try to use them for this post (which is 3 days late now).  I guess, we'll just do it the old fasion way, huh?

On Sunday, me and my 2 roomies had our official Housewarming Party to invite our NYC friends and church family to come and see the place we were blessed with.  Aside from the Peachtree theme (we're all originally from Georgia, making us official Georgia Peaches), we gave tours of our quaint little place. 

I have to say the most interesting part of our tours were when we brought guests to my room.  If they were my friends they said "yep, that's Lauryn's room, alright."  If they were my other roomies' friends they would say "hey, how youthful!"  My homeboys who helped me moved in "wow!  It's clean!" (lol).  Why the shock?  Because my room sort of SCREAMS otaku. If you ignore the Renji/Byakuya wall scroll over my bed (next to the Hitsugaya poster),  tons of fan art, a Trunks pillow and a Kyo (Furuba) cat cushion, I guess it could be considered normal enough.  Then you look at the bookshelf and see the ROWS of manga and stacks of comic books, complete with cubbies filled with anime DVDs and video games.  And my computer screen background also tips off that there's something off about me.  Then they noticed the prop gun for my Zero Kiryuu cosplay, which brings them over to my wall of weapons, including my Trunks replica sword (Lavender) and my Katana (Sapphire).  Yes, very youthful, indeed.

But I've never been one to hide my passions, especially in a sacred space I call my home or room.  I wasn't allowed to decorate my room when living with my parents, but once I got to college, my anime was NEVER hidden under the bed, and my manga has prominent stature next to my actual text books (along with the various Anime calendars I had been collecting since high school).  If you're open about it, it's the best way to meet others who share your interest.  My next door neighbor freshman year (who's name is also Lauren and is my current otaku BFF) came over to study Spanish with my roommate, and spent half the night talking with me about anime.  Had it been the reverse (me going to her room to study), I would have never known because she kept her anime hidden so not to scare her roommate. :p

Once I moved to an apartment setting, my interest merged with the common space of my roomies.  My giant Kenshin lifesize poster was featured by the door of my senior suite, becoming a rule that everyone had to bow to the suite protector before coming in (my suitemate actually made up that rule). And in my first apartment in the NYC, I had no bookcase so my anime DVDs, game systems, games, and a bit of manga were on the living room bookcase which started some very interesting conversations whenever we had parties and dinners for our various friends and visiting family members.

It can be weird sometimes when strangers come into your room and judge you right there on how you've chosen to express your passions.  My 2 roomies are awesome because they encourage my addiction (although neither are into anything anime or manga related), but their friends aren't as understanding.  I don't mind being the weird one.  I'm quite proud of my room, and while I have tons more anime paraphinalia in storage in Georgia (more anime posters (including this great yaoi KH2 fan art), my anime calendars, Kenshin, my plushies, and at least 3 boxes of manga - fully complete series like Kare Kano and Demon Diary), I look forward to continually adding to my decor with each con I go to.  ^_^
weaponsAnime Posters

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="at home,my room,weapons,swords"></a>
11/18/2009 1 Comments | Add Comment
Music in Anime (aka Anime Music) - Opening and Closings
(Part 1 or 2!)
One of my favorite aspects of anime (besides characters, story/plot, action, and animation) is the music.  Many series have memorable music moments or oustanding OSTs or popular themes songs (opening and ending).  Great music can truly add a lot to an anime, whether its great on its own or maybe just okay.  I love music in general, so a great opening theme can not only give me good insight to what the series is about or the general feel of the show, but cause me to stop and actually give it a chance.  Case in point, I only started watching Gundam Wing because I loved the opening song "Just Communicaton" by Two-Mix.  Best decision I ever made.

Opening and closing themes are essential to any anime, as it will be the song that most fans identify the anime with.  I have to give props to popular franchises like Naruto and Bleach because they consistantly have great hits.  While I'm not a big fan of the openings and endings of Naruto ("Hound Dog" nearly made me give up on the anime before it even started), I have to mention that the 1st ending theme more than made up for the opening.   Not only is the song "Wind" by Akeboshi just a generally great song to begin with, it perfectly captures Naruto's mental state at the beginning of the series, as well has having outstanding ending animation that matched the general mood of the song, proving to be a great PV for the song itself.  I was heartbroken when ths ending changed (particularly because I HATED the next ending with Ino and Sakura).

Beyond the emotional factor, there is also the hit making stars that lend awesome songs that are awesome singles.  I have to admit that it was Inuyasha's original soundtracks of openings and ending themes that got me into J-Pop in the first place.  Totally contrasting with its orchestral background music with traditional ancient Japan period instruments (which is really great since many of the same musical themes are reworked for different scenes and styles), Inuyasha had a full cast of big pop stars contributing to its Openings and Closings.  Through this series I learned about V6 (which started my obession with Japanese boy bands), BoA, Dream, Hitomi, and Do as Infinity (to name a few).

Now Bleach is my go to for top J-Pop and J-Rock artists to listen to, although I usually like their openings much more than the ending themes (there's only one opening I routinely skipped).  Another side note to Bleach's openings (like most really good openings) you get subtle spoilers about the season if you just pay attention to what's going on.  I love looking back and saying "Oh!  That's why they were so focused on that character during the opening!" The animation for both the openings and endings are priceless, but for once, I really focus more on the artist and the songs to the point I'll dance around while the opening is playing, not even watching the animation sequence.  I love, love, LOVE YUI, UVERworld, Asian Kung-Fu Generation (who also supplies favorite hits for Fullmetal Alchemist and Naruto), Rie Fue, and Aqua Timez thanks to the songs used on the show.  And even though there are still some artist I haven't quite picked up on, I no less love the songs on the show such as Tonight, Tonight, My Pace, and presently "Sky Chord" which is an outstanding choice for a Orihime themed ending.  Much like "Wind" in Naruto, it captures the mental and emotional feelings of a particular character almost to the T (along with the animation).

Still, awesome and perfect opening and ending anime themes are very common.  I have to note Samuari Champloo's "Battlecry" by Shing02 as one of those memorable songs that set the tone and the background of the anime, much like "Tank" does for Cowboy Bebop (you didn't think I was gonna leave Cowboy Bebop, did you?  I'll actually get more in dept about its OSTs in my next post).  Yoko Kanno doesn't make any junk, just like the opening theme in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and "Stray"(opening) and "Gravity"(closing) from Wolf's Rain.  They are all concept themes that set the tone.  There are plenty of fun themes like Dragonball Z's famous "Head-Cha-La" and "Bid for Power" (which is why Americans make fun of anime theme songs with random English words in the FIRST place) or the exciting "Through the Night" from Outlaw Star with is totally different from it's Melfina-inspired ending themes "Hiru No Tsuki" and "Tsuki No Le."  And how can anyone forget the themes that spawned an otaku dance crave convention after convention - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's "Hare Hare Yukai" and Lucky Star's "Motteke! Serafuju"

Are there any opening and ending themes that absolutely make you adore the anime?

*Part 2 will deal with Anime Background Music and Character themes!
11/11/2009 0 Comments | Add Comment
Halloween STORM!
So, I finished my costume in time for a couple of Halloween tricks.  While is was a bit rainy here, many people on the street asked me to do something about the misrable weather.  I declared I was in a bad mood and would lighten the weather once I had eaten.

sure enough, once me and my buddies got something to satisfy our stomachs, the rain stopped.  ^_^

Storm is ready for the nightStorm's ready for the night
11/04/2009 1 Comments | Add Comment
Halloween Help!
Halloween is fast approaching and I need to make a costume - Like Yesterday!  Problem is, I can't decide on who to do!  I've narrowed it down to ONLY comic book characters (with 1 exception), but the clock is really ticking...

The choices include:

Storm from X-men:  Easily the most recognizable, especially if I'm going to be in the Halloween Day Parade.  Plus, I'd would have to have this done by Monday so that I could do the big Marvel costume day in Union Square (which a few folk from the job are going).  But if I choose Storm, then another question pops up: Which costume?  Classic 90's? Storm - All White
What about her from X-men Evolutions?
Storm - X-men Evolution
Then again, the easiest one to do would be Storm's costume from X-men Legends II
Storm - X-men Legends II
But there are other choices like Misty Knight!
MIsty Knight - Daughter of the Dragon But making that arm is gonna be a HUGE headache.  I don't know if I can finish it in time...
Then there's
The Crimson Avenger (the third):
Crimson Avenger III A bit obscure, but definitely BAD ASS! (and easy enough to pull off last minute.
Finally, a fan favorite - Numbuh 5!
Numbuh 5 - Secret KND Operative!

So who should I do?  I dunno, cuz I want to do them all, but I only have a few days to pull it together.  IF worse comes to worst, I can always just do my Bumblebee costume which has already been worn at Otakon, but I only want to pull it out if I can't finish any of these in time.

Suggestions?  Comments?  Preference?
10/23/2009 4 Comments | Add Comment
The "Official" Naruto App...
So, Facebook is the place where 3rd parties create random apps then prove how much of a genuis they are by getting people to use them and invite their friends.

For the most part, I stay away from any app invite.  Then I got into Mafia Wars because of my uncle, but I have fun and something to do when bored at work... Crunchyroll is packaging the fact they stream EVERY Naruto episode is a handy-Dandy, invite your friends Naruto based app - and this isn't the random Narto and Bleach items, this is Mafia Wars/Mob Wars/ Vampire vs Warewolves type fighting app that has me sucked in just like Mafia wars did.

The best part - you can win special in game items by watching a Naruto episode every 24 hours off the site.  Great marketing you genuises at Crunchyroll.

Not that I'm a HUGE Naruto fan or anything, but the game's/app is pretty sweet and nostalgic and has events, jutsus, items, and missions lifted directly from the series (with corresponding episode links to click on and see it in action).  I might actually start re-watching this series ALL OVER AGAIN!  GAH!

Oh - if you're on facebook - friend me and join my Ninja Clan.  Just search for "Blaquestarr" - First name Lauren.  I'm usually the only one (Blaquestarr, not Lauren.  There are a million of us!).  Let us take over this app and be the top Ninja Clan *mwahahahaha*!
10/05/2009 0 Comments | Add Comment
NYAF - Best Cosplay Ever
"Hey Gundam, I'm really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Bumblebee had the best mecha cosplay EVER!"
09/29/2009 2 Comments | Add Comment
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 NYAF - Best Cosplay Ever
 Halloween Help!
 Halloween STORM!
 Music in Anime (aka Anime Music) - Op...
 Being an Otaku @ home
 Holiday Well Spent (kinda)
 It's Been a Minute
 The Search for the Perfect Wall Scroll