Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Blog has moved!

Hello everyone! I didn't die! I'm still around, and although a bit late I have my brand new blogs ready for you guy.

Wait, blogS, as in, plural? YES.

After some thinking and discussion I have decided to split this blog into two separate ones instead of keeping it to just one.
So from now on this blog right here is out of service. In order to continue to read my stuff, head over to either

  1. http://absolutelyanime.com/ which is my aniblog, focusing heavily on anime, manga, Japan, and other related things.
  2. http://theblackragdoll.com/ which is my new personal blog, where I share my experience from living in Paris, as well as thoughts and opinions on various matters. 
I will admit I haven't been reading many blogs myself lately, but that is definitely something I'm going to focus on in the future. That is all for now, or is it for ever? Thanks guys! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mini hiatus.

I just realised it's been fifteen days since I posted anything on my blog.

But I'm not here to promise I'll be blogging more, I'm here to announce the opposite in fact. Don't get me wrong, I didn't lose my interest in blogging, but the truth is I am working on moving the blog over to wordpress as well as getting a domain name. This apparently also means I have to learn web design and stuff. It's complicated. Then there's the fulltime-job and French classes and people demanding my attention irl. It's life.

But I'm giving myself a deadline: one month. In one month, I will have the new blog set up and working, and I will announce it here once it's ready. Please bear with me until then.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Blackragdoll is on facebook! (finally)

Hello guys, just letting you know I created a facebook page for my blog, so if you want you can like it over there, and it'll hopefully be easier to follow my posts!

This is the link!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Anime review: Clannad After Story

(Contains spoilers for the first season, Clannad.)

While Clannad was heartwarming and left you with a smile on your face, its sequel, Clannad After Story, will rip your fucking heart out.

Clannad After Story starts where the first season left off; Tomoya and Nagisa are now officially dating, and we get to know some other side characters who didn't get that much screen time in the previous season (Sunohara finally gets his own arc as well!). These new arcs are typically sad and bittersweet, but ends with smiles and happiness. And to be honest, they're nothing compared to what's coming.

Some funny parts.
Because only about the 10 first episodes revolve around character story arcs, and after that, the show solely focuses on Tomoya and Nagisa as a growing couple. The pacing is suddenly sped up a lot, and we see how their relationship develops. That is all I am going to say about the story.

The characters in the show are pretty much even better now than before, and a lot of life and backstories are given to those who were only wallflowers in the past. The only thing I wish is that we could have seen more of Sakagami Tomoyo. Anyway, as these move on with their lives, growing up and everything, we are left with Okazaki Tomoya as the main main character of the show, and whatever development he lacked already (which is not a lot) he goes through here. I imagine most of us get pretty upset with him as well, because he really does show how useless he can be.

I forgot to take screenshots so I'm just putting my ex-fav character right here.

Music is good, the opening song is amazing. And I can imagine I wasn't the only one who was disappointed my the missing Dango Daikazoku, but don't worry, it's still in there.
Also, I don't know what I can even say about the animation, because it is gorgeous. One time, long long ago I said that Clannad was probably the "prettiest" anime I knew of, which is still a valid statement. The style is very moe, and though not realistic, not hurtful to the eye. It's so bright and happy, which might be a contrast to the later themes.

The thing I don't like about this show, are the short sequences every now and then showing a young girl and a robot living in a world that has ended. Towards the end we get to see who these represent but to be honest I still don't think it was an accurate representation.

I do recommend this show though. It's sweet and sad at the same time. If you're one who takes to tears easily, I suggest bring a box of tissues when watching, because a lot of shit happens. This was my second watch on the show, and I guess that only shows how much I enjoyed it (but I think it will be a long time before watching it again).

There is a high probability you may cry.

Pros:
- Beautiful animation.
- Well-made characters.
- Good soundtrack.
- Sad story (don't know why this is a pro tbh).
Cons:
- Weird pacing.
- Okazaki Tomoya thank you very much for being so good-for-nothing.

Overall 8/10.




Friday, January 03, 2014

Winter season 2014 picks

Happy new year everyone! I hope you guys had a wonderful last night of 2013. While mine was simply ok, not bad though, I'm now looking forward to what wonders the new year has in store for me. I was planning to post this earlier, but time has been quite meager lately, and only now did I find a moment to sit down and actually write this stuff.

But here it is, the winter anime season predictions! I'll talk a bit about what I expect out of the four shows YOU have chosen for me. That's right, the poll on my sidebar is now my future. I'm kind of nervous. Here are a few words about what I expect out of whatever it is I've committed to for the next few months. 

#1: Noragami

Premiere date: January 6th




This is a show coming from Bones, who also produced both FMA animes, so I'm having some hope that it will be good. I like the supernatural theme, and anichart.net tagged it with the genres action, adventure, and shounen, which has previously proven to be exactly my kind of thing. So yeah, I'm excited.


#2: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha.

Premiere date: January 16th

Another supernatural themed anime, this time mixed with comedy, which can be interesting. 

I'm not a big comedy fan when it comes to anime, but I'll give it a shot. I just hope this one 
doesn't get too repetitive or boring. There's the chance that it will turn into a romance anime, 
which I haven't had the best experience with in the past, but we'll see.


#3: Nisekoi


Premiere date: January 11th. 

Reading the description, I just went "ugh" in my head. It's not that I don't like romance, or love triangles, quite the opposite actually, but while I adore these in, say things like, tv shows or musicals, anime has yet to provide me with a good enough romance show to make it to my top 10. Also when I first saw the artwork I thought it reminded me too much of High School of the Dead *shudder*. So maybe that's why I'm sceptical about this. But who knows, maybe this will be the show to change my mind about romance anime? I don't know, but I'll try to go into it with a neutral mind. 

#4: Nourin

Premiere date: January 11th.

Why so many romance shows guys? But seriously though, this is actually one I wanted to watch from the beginning. From the description it looks like something a 14 year old fangirl would've written (me included), because who wouldn't want to become friends, or something more, with their biggest idol? Also this comes from the producer of Steins;Gate, which is a good omen. I'm just afraid I have too high expectations and get disappointed. We'll see. 

#5: Wake Up, Girls!

Premiere date: January 11th

The first time I read the description, I didn't find it interesting at all, but now I'm a bit more curious. If it's a show about music, I really hope it will deliver well. I'm imagining like a j-pop musical here but I might be wrong about that. Still, that would be so cool. But it might also just end up a regular anime about someone trying to keep their head (or in this case, company) over water. 



So, while I have no idea how I'm going to find the time to watch all of these at the same time, 
as well as the usual shows and maratons of anime I do on a regular basis, I'm sure I'll find a way. 
It's all about time management, right? A majority of these seem to be only 10-12 episodes long, 
so that will hopefully be alright. I can't imagine myself stumbling upon another show with the 
SnK-effect, and having to go through that same torture again.

With that being said, I still want to know which shows you guys are planning to follow this 
coming season, and why! 
I'll be sure to share my first reactions when the time comes, and I have something extra special 
planned to move my internet-id a step forward. So look forward to that (; Until next time!  

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: reflections & review, 2014; predictions & resolutions

I've been thinking about how to write this post for a while, I even considered making a video, but decided to do it the way I can best; through writing.
Last year I made a video declaring I wouldn't dwell on sad things, and listed a bunch of good things that had happened to me during 2012. It was a good idea in itself, but this time around I'm seeing it a little differently.

I can't really put a label on 2013 saying it was a "bad" or a "good" year, because lots and lots of things happened. Some things made me sad, and other things made me happy, and that's how life is. After everything that has been going on with me, I now think it is important to acknowledge everything that happens to us, even the not so cool stuff. I could write a list right now of all the cool things from the past year and show it to you guys, but that won't make me forget about the bad like they never happened. I also don't want to make it seem like I have the perfect life, and as if everything is going great all the time, because going through rough periods is only natural; it happens to everyone. We need to accept everything that happens to us, regardless of how we perceive it, which is why this year, I've decided to make this review of 2013 a top 5 list; top 5 worst and top 5 good events that have taken place in my life this year.

So here we go.

Top 5 worst things 2013


#5: I was dumped by someone who I wanted to commit to long term. Now, these things do happen, and we can't actually help it in these situations, as we can't control other people's feelings. So I cried at first but then I sucked it up and moved on, thinking I was much better off without this person. And I really was.

#4: Had a panic attack at 2 in the morning. I've only ever had a panic attack once, and let me tell you this: it wasn't pleasant. I was in my bed and I couldn't sleep, and I was really anxious for some reason (probably my future). All of a sudden I started crying so hard I couldn't breathe, I tried to get some water but my hands were shaking, and I sat on the floor rocking back and forth until it passed. That's the good thing about them I guess; they pass, rarely lasting longer than 20 minutes.

#3: I had so high expectations for my own birthday that on the very day I started crying and was disappointed (all of these have to do with crying, I've noticed...). Luckily I had my favourite cousin there to support me, and in the end it was just another day.

#2: A close friend of mine decided to end our friendship. Again, this is never something we can help. I'm sure whatever reasons this person had make sense in their head, even though they don't in mine. At least I was able to get the explanations I needed to move on.

#1: I was sexually assaulted by a "friend". Now, before you ask, yes, I am fine. I'm still alive and I'm breathing and stuff, no worries. To be honest, I'd say I'm more traumatised by the period after, where I was repeatedly told to report it because they take these things very seriously here in France, but then not believed by the police. This has created a lot of unnecessary trouble for me, but I've got no other choice than to try and move on with my life. I'm a fighter, and I can't let something like this get to me (even though it kinda sucks). Surprisingly enough, this was the only time on this list I didn't cry.

Top 5 good things 2013


#5: I moved out from my mom's house (and to another freaking country). I'm growing up and becoming independent n shit. It's scary, for sure, but at least I'm free now to do whatever it is I want with my life.

#4: I managed to get a full-time job, in a country where I don't even speak the language, and all on my own. I'm so proud of myself, because I've struggled a lot in the past with getting jobs. I've come a long way, in life.

#3: Started the year off by swimming with dolphins. Didn't matter if I had a raging hangover and only slept like 3 hours. On January 1st 2013 I was up and ready to make the most of my last couple of days in Thailand with my family. And dolphins are probably the best thing in the world.

#2: Passed IB. The IB (International Baccalaureate) was the root to many of my worries, and I have broken down many a time due to stressing about it. Seems all this worrying was for nothing though, because in the end I got enough points to pass, and can now proceed to university whenever I feel like it.

#1: Rediscovered anime. Yes, this is the very best thing I did this year, because anime has opened my eyes to a whole new world. I've made some great memories, which you can hear more about in my 12 Days of Anime videos, and I've made some fantastic new friends. I even created this blog, and it was all because of that one gem called Fullmetal Alchemist.

Predictions & plans for 2014


But of course I wasn't going to end it there! There are still so many things to say about the new year! I'll start off with my predictions, plans, and expectations for 2014.

Some things I look forward to this year:

- Take a French class. It's about time I did this, seeing as working in a bar repeatedly saying the same words day in and day out isn't getting me anywhere. I hope to finally learn this goddamn language that has been haunting me practically all of my life. I can't wait to speak French.

- Get a new (and perhaps better) job. I wrote this part of the post before getting the new job and putting it on the list. But instead of just removing it, I'll keep it, to show how far I've gotten already. It was my goal for next year, but I already accomplished it. So I guess the goal now will be to keep it and get good at it.

- Going to university. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to study at university, and that is soon to be reality. I'm in the process of applying, and have picked 5 universities in England that I would like to study at. I'm completely syked about this, and I expect it to be a lot of fun. I almost can't wait.

Resolutions & goals


Lastly, I'll share with you my personal goals for 2014. This has nothing to do with what I think is going to happen, but more to do with what I want to make reality. I don't really like the word "resolutions" as I associate it with something that always fail, and therefore I like to use the word "goal" instead. I always try to make this list a short one, with only a few, meaningful goals on it. To be honest, I pretty much failed all of my goals for 2013 but one, but one is a start, and this year I want to achieve even more. 

- Learn French. I already talked about this, but I think it deserves a spot on this list as well. Not only do I want to learn the French language, but I want to know the culture better too. I better work hard though, seeing as time seems to fly around here!

- Cosplay. There are two conventions, one in Norway, and one in Paris, that I'm simply dying to go to in 2014. And I want to cosplay; I have already started planning the outfits. I hope this will be successful and done in time, despite my utter lack of sowing and crafting skills. 

- Learn to properly blog. I want to get a domain name for my blog, and perhaps more it over to Wordpress. I've been thinking about this ever since I started, and I've got in touch with some people who can help me understand how to do this better. Hopefully one day I'll be able to run this blog all on my own.

- Join a sports club in uni. I want to do something fun and active to stay in shape, and university offers a wide range of possibilities. I've always wanted to try tennis, but that was too expensive for me back in Norway, so I'm hoping I'll be able to do it once I get to uni.



Monday, December 23, 2013

December fun!

Things have been quite crazy here in Paris, lately! You guys have no idea.

My best girlfriend Lisa came all the way from Norway to visit me for a week, and we've had the best of times. I'll just show you some pictures, and tell you about the stuff along the way.

Lisa is a vegetarian, and has given me a lot of food inspiration.

Drinks at Belushi's.
Here is the view from Sacre Coeur. It's only 10 minutes walking from my place.
This guy insisted on drawing her. It didn't really resemble her though, haha. She didn't have to buy it, luckily. He was nice to talk to, at least.
A dream of mine was to do karaoke. So I invited some people, and we finally went. Lisa is an amazing singer too.


The crew at karaoke night. Japanese style karaoke, it was amazing. Recommended.


I don't think I've written about this before, but in my hometown, Trondheim, there is a 50s diner called Pair-a-dice, which is our favourite place to hang out. They have amazing milkshakes.

Sadly (or not I guess) I'm not there anymore, I'm in Paris, so we went to a 50s diner here instead. Although their milkshakes could not compare, it was a wonderful experience. I wouldn't mind going back. But I wouldn't try the bubblegum milkshake again. Don't do it, it's awful.



I tried a vegetarian burger! It was pretty good, but seriously this is too much food for me to eat in one meal.



Lastly, we went to see the Eiffel Tower at night. A must. It starts blinking every hour, and it's a fantastic sight.

Now, let me finish off this by announcing some pretty big news. I mentioned before that we went to Belushi's, which is a bar and diner, as well as a part of a hostel. They exist all across Europe, and I used to go there quite often in the past, since it was a place it is easy to talk to people. Most of the time, there are people there who are travelling alone, but unfortunately this also means it's a bad place for making long term friends (which is why I stopped going). I did bring Lisa there though, since it's so close to my place. 
When we were there, I mentioned how great it would be to work there, and she encouraged me to go ask them about getting a job. I was probably a little (or very) drunk at the time, so I ran up to the supervisor, who told me they were in fact looking for a new girl, full-time worker. The following night I gave them my resume. When I didn't hear anything for a few days I went back, met the manager, and was told to come in for a try-out shift the next morning! I've been there for 3 days now, and today I signed the contract for a month of trial period! 

I'd say this is the greatest thing I've accomplished since I came here. I have actually been looking for a new job for a few weeks, seeing as my current workplace isn't being fair to me, and completely destroying my social life. At the time of writing, I still have this job, but I intend on talking to my boss tonight, telling him I'll quit, and go on with my new job instead. I can't believe all of this, really, I feel like I've had some great luck for the past few days. The universe is really with me on this. 

Other than that though, I've been working on the 12 Days of Anime vlogs, my university application, and now my mother and her boyfriend have arrived in Paris to celebrate Christmas with me. 2013 has had it's ups and downs, as it should be and which I will elaborate in another post, but I'm feeling great about the coming year, and right now, I think I can handle whatever the world throws at me. 

I've really grown up now.