How a video game like Dragon Age: Origins left a lasting impression on me

I guess you can call this post a review/opinion piece, but I think it’s more opinion than anything. I won’t be going into too much detail about the game mechanics. You can pretty much find more traditional reviews about the game on the Internet. Believe me, there is a lot of it if you Google the game in the search box. People have already played this game to death since its 2009 release. I only just discovered this game this year and it was the only game to convince me to get an Xbox 360. A pretty huge feat to do, no? The post is largely going to reflect my experience playing this game and how I felt.

Continue reading “How a video game like Dragon Age: Origins left a lasting impression on me”

Who would I take as a New Year’s Eve date?

So here’s a fun, silly post I thought of for tonight. The New Year’s weekend is nearly upon us. I have a party lined up for the weekend, but without a hot date to bring. Not a problem really. I’m the kind of girl who is used to doing things solo anyway. Then I thought about who I would bring as a date if a bunch of the anime/manga characters I have a crush on were real.

I already know who I would take on the video games end of the spectrum (*cough Alistair* *cough of Dragon Age: Origins*), but this post is focused on one anime/manga character currently on my mind for a New Year’s Eve date. My hunky bishonen pick? Yuhi of Ayashi no Ceres.

Yuhi of Ayashi no Ceres

I recently got three new volumes of Ayashi no Ceres to add to my current collection for Christmas. As I was reading Volume 9, I remembered why he appealed to me more than Toya when I first got into the series a long time ago. I have nothing against Toya, but I feel Yuhi has more appeal as a boyfriend than Toya. Of course let’s be honest, Toya isn’t so bad on the eyes either.

Why would I love a date with Yuhi? He’s the kind of guy who loves as passionately as he fights. All those times Yuhi tries to woo Aya is enough to make any girl swoon. You almost want to yell at Aya for rejecting the poor guy time and time again.

Yuhi has a sense of humor! That’s very important for a date to have. Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and who also reminds us not to take yourself too seriously either. He can laugh at himself and will go the extra mile to make a girl smile. Ceres is a pretty heavy manga to read of all the mangas I’ve read by Yuu Watase. This one has less humor and more drama. The few comic relief moments tend to lie with Yuhi or Mrs. Q. And thank goodness too! The drama in this manga can be stifling and you need the comic moments to breathe sometimes. I also prefer Yuhi over Toya because Toya tends to be too much of the brooding, serious guy.

Toya, you are a hottie but you really need to lighten up sometime

What else makes Yuhi appealing? The guy can cook. A man in the kitchen is an absolute bonus for us girls. Just picture it, you want to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve at home and your date offers to cook you a homemade meal. How wonderful is that?

Let’s recap, shall we? Yuhi would be my ideal New Year’s Eve date because:

A. He has a lot of passion, sweet, caring, and is handsome.

B. He has a sense of humor. This man will keep me entertained for the entire night.

C. He can cook. While you are laughing over something funny or adorable he does, you will be doing it over a delicious meal by candlelight.

And there you have it. If an anime/manga character were real and I could pick one as my date for New Year’s, it would be Yuhi.

What about you? Any fantasies of hot anime/manga characters you wish you could take out in real life? And why him/her?

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker Trailer

I recently finished my first playthrough for Dragon Age Origins as a human female noble. I am utterly blown away by how great this game is. I plan on giving my overall thoughts and feelings about the game in a post later this week. For now, I want to share the Japanese movie trailer for Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker. It’s a marriage of my two favorite things: this RPG video game and anime. Dragon Age is going to be an anime movie coming out sometime in 2012. I think the anime looks good, and it’s interesting how the people over at Bioware decided they wanted to make an animated feature for their video game franchise as an anime. Hopefully the movie will be as good as the trailer looks.

Game Review: Exercise via motion games

I’m back after a nice, long Christmas break. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays this past weekend.

When it comes to holidays, it’s obvious we will be eating…a lot. 2011 will be history and 2012 will soon be here. I have a New Year’s Eve party coming up this weekend where I will not only be drinking to ring in the New Year, but there will be more food to eat. With the amount of food I’ve been eating I know I have gained more pounds than I care to have added to my waist. Usually when this happens I eat smaller portions during the week and I exercise to shed the few pounds I have gained during the holiday eatathons. Where am I going with this? I truly like the idea of motion based games to whip me into shape after all this eating.

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The Geeky Christmas List

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center (Love this tree, hate the crowds)

Here’s my final Christmas themed post to end the week with. I will be back to your regularly scheduled blogging on Tuesday.

I was thinking of how people would ask me what I want for Christmas. I tell most people to surprise me unless they insist I give them a list of things I want. I have one friend who always wants me to give her a list of my top most wanted things on my wish list right now. When it comes to wish lists on Christmas, here is what I always end up generally putting on such a list:

1. Anime DVD sets of my favorite series.

2. Specific volumes of manga series I am currently collecting.

3. And finally, most recently, video games for the Wii, Nintendo DS/3DS, PSP, or Xbox 360.

Clothes or perfume I’m usually eyeing sometimes make the list, but I tend to save the more fashion based stuff for when I purchase it on my own with any Christmas money/gift cards I receive.

It never fails to have any or all of those top three things on my Christmas list. Special occasions like Christmas or birthdays give me the opportunity to knock off a few things off my mental wish list or my neatly organized Amazon wish list. The Amazon wish list feature is the best thing ever. I can keep track of everything I want in one place. If you can see what my wish list looks like there are a ton of things waiting to be purchased by me or hinted to someone as a gift you want them to get you.

As I’ve said before, being a geek when it comes to the things I have listed are expensive to buy yourself. It adds up. If you can get a helping hand on Christmas by having a friend or loved one indulge your geeky obsessions then why not? They gotta love you for it as it is part of your charm.

Geeky things will always make me happy. The top three items on my geeky Christmas list will keep me entertained, it’s fun, and it’s a bursting collection I am proud to own. Geek first and a fashionista second. I will be geeking out for the entire Christmas weekend.

Happy Holidays and Merry Geeky Christmas from simpleek!

Are stilettos worth giving your feet that extra bit of sexy in your evening look?

Here’s another fashionista musing post that is related to dressing up for the holidays. I’m going to talk about the stilettos. I don’t own a pair of stilettos. I never really wanted to own one in my life. When most people see or think of stilettos, you think about how sexy the shoe makes a woman feel. Pair that with almost any outfit and it turns up the heat on your ensemble.

Continue reading “Are stilettos worth giving your feet that extra bit of sexy in your evening look?”

An anime Christmas moment with Clannad

I have been wanting to do at least one anime related Christmas theme post for this week and I decided to pick a moment from an anime I have seen fairly recently. I wanted to do one for manga, but I am having a hard time finding a Christmas scene from the mangas I own and have read. I can think up more Valentine’s Day related scenes and I at least know I’ll have plenty to choose from in a future Valentine’s Day post. Hurrah!

Nagisa & Tomoya of Clannad

My anime Christmas moment pick is from the anime Clannad After Story. After Story is the second season of the Clannad anime. For those not familiar with Clannad it is a high school, slice of life kind of story. The main character is Tomoya Okazaki and his journey from being a kid who kind of gets by life without really caring about anything or anyone to becoming a young man who starts to care about his life and the people around him who gradually become a huge part of his life. The biggest influence in his life and ultimately his soul mate is Nagisa Furukawa. Both seasons of Clannad charts Tomoya’s and Nagisa’s relationship from friends to becoming something more. It’s also a series about the ups and downs of life and how the many characters in this anime cope with them.

I could go into detail about this series, but this isn’t an anime review. This is an anime I plan on coming back to for a proper review. For now, I want to focus on my Christmas anime moment in Clannad.

There are actually two episodes with Christmas scenes in After Story, but the one I want to focus on is in the episode entitled Graduation. There is a nice moment where Nagisa and Tomoya are walking the streets in their small town in Japan as they are admiring Christmas decorations and window shopping. Tomoya is able to spend Christmas with Nagisa since he has no work. It’s a very sweet, romantic moment.

Nagisa's first taste of sake

The next scene cuts to a family dinner at the Furukawa residence. I’m assuming the family scene is still tied to the Christmas Day in Japan part of the episode since each episode in the series progresses in months, and seasons change rather quickly in one episode alone. Tomoya is also in attendance at this family dinner. The family scene is quite comical. Nagisa is having her first taste of sake as her parents and Tomoya look on. She sniffs the sake, which you see her cute face crinkle in maybe not quite disgust but displeasure? Then she goes in for the gulp and…ends up drunk pretty fast. Poor girl. Her first mistake is taking a huge gulp too fast for a first introduction in alcohol.

A drunk Nagisa equals a cute and loud Nagisa. In her drunken haze she wonders why Tomoya is so far away when he is sitting right next to her. She proceeds to inch herself super close to Tomoya’s face and says, “I like you this close,” or something like that. Nagisa’s mother comments on how lovey dovey Nagisa and Tomoya are being, but Tomoya retorts that lovey dovey is not how you would describe the scene between him and Nagisa.

Drunk Nagisa then thinks Tomoya is staring at her mother in a “I like what I see” way, which Tomoya vehemently denies. Nagisa’s parents join in on the fun and teases him about having a secret crush on Nagisa’s mother. A whole lot of Furukawa family craziness ensues with Tomoya caught in the middle of it all.

Why do I pick this as my anime Christmas moment? The Christmas scene is very brief in the Graduation episode, but it embodies the spirit of Christmas. It’s about family and being with the ones you love. If you are lucky enough to have a special someone in your life, Christmas also has a bit of romance in the air. Christmas in Japan seems to be more geared towards couples and is more of a celebration between lovers, but it does include familial love as well. When you gather together with your family there is a lot of warmth, joy, and love. There is a chance for crazy or embarrassing family moments during these holiday gatherings and it is part of the fun. It’s moments like these you can look back on and laugh at when you reminisce. Clannad is an anime that does a good job of capturing life’s little moments.

This is one anime moment that gets me in the mood for Christmas along with Christmas songs on the radio and watching the Charlie Brown Christmas specials on TV.

My first blog award!

Imagine my surprise when I went on WordPress this morning and I found out that I was chosen for a Liebster Blog Award by Paprika-no-Yume! You are awesome and many thanks for the nomination. My blog is still new in the blogging circles, but I do my very best in keeping this blog up and running. I’m also very grateful to the readers and followers I do have so far, and you make maintaining this blog worthwhile. Paprika also got a Liebster Blog Award for her photo blog and it’s amazing. I love photography and hers is breathtakingly beautiful. Keep the blog going, Paprika!

About the Award:

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The rules for accepting the Liebster Blog Award are:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog
4. Reveal your 5 blog picks.
5. Let them know you choose them by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here’s where passing along the nomination to 5 other blogs is going to be tricky for me. A lot of the blogs I follow have more than 200 followers, which would defeat the purpose of passing along this particular award to them. And the ones who are newcomers have already gotten the award. A huge dilemma indeed. I have one I’d like to nominate, and if I stumble upon four other really great blogs that deserves recognition I will be sure to pass on the good will to that blog and update this post with my pick.

1. Shojo Corner – I’m not sure if this blog has lots of followers, but it deserves to be read if it isn’t being read already. The blog focuses mainly on shojo manga with great reviews and analysis. This blog is a must read for any shojo fan out there.

And that’s it for my nominations for now. It’s so sad that I only know of one blog that is up and coming. I won’t despair though. I will be on the hunt for more newcomers who deserve the honor.

Thanks again Paprika for sharing the love!

I want my Jdramas!

Since I’m on the track of Japanese live action dramas from last night’s post, I decided to continue with an opinion piece to end the week with.

Hana Yori Dango Live Action Jdrama

I enjoy live action dramas from Japan if they are made well. There were a few that have impressed me such as Kimi wa Petto (You Are My Pet), Hana Yori Dango Season 1 & 2, and Gokusen Season 1. All of these were based after mangas. I know Hana Yori Dango and Gokusen were made into animes, but Kimi wa Petto was never made into one. I was lucky enough to watch the entire series of these Jdramas through a cousin who downloaded them onto his computer or through Youtube back when Youtube wasn’t getting much attention for illegal uploads of copyrighted material. The fansubs made it possible for me to enjoy all three of them.

After watching all of these series, I remember wishing I could own them on DVD to rewatch any time that I want. There is always downloading the fansubs, but my computer is old and it can’t support holding all three of these dramas with the limited space that I have. Honestly, I rather own the DVDs of these Jdramas rather than watch it on my computer screen. It’s easier to stretch out on the bed or couch as you watch your favorite series. It’s a little harder with a computer where you have to sit at your desk chair to enjoy them. There is always laptops I suppose to remedy this problem.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a petition to have these Jdramas get the DVD treatment in the U.S. market like most anime series does. I wonder if the Japanese think there is no profit to grant a license to the U.S. to do it or the U.S. market doesn’t think there is a huge following for Jdramas like anime/manga has? I’m curious to know what the reasoning is.

The U.S. is able to at least get the license to release and officially sub a live action movie for DVD release like Death Note, Honey and Clover, and NANA. It is a curious thing when Jdrama series like Hana Yori Dango doesn’t get the same permission in the U.S.

When I saw on Amazon that they released the final movie of the live action Hana Yori Dango on DVD for the U.S. I was really excited. I didn’t know there was a live action final film made in Japan to end the entire Jdrama series. I do own it, but I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. I’m pretty sure I will like the movie if I loved the live action series so much.

Hana Yori Dango Final: The Movie

This is where I am a bit confused though. It’s hard for the final movie of HYD to act as a stand alone film. People would have had to get their hands on Seasons 1 & 2 of the live action Jdrama for any of the stuff in the final movie to make sense. Again, I will not make any critiques on this film until I have seen it. For a final a film, it has to continue or make reference to events that went on in the Jdrama series. I highly doubt the movie can skip around it somehow. The movies of Death Note, Honey and Clover, and NANA can work as stand alone films because they were not made into a Jdrama series prior. Everything starts and finishes with the movie. HYD’s final film involves watching the Jdramas first before getting into the final film.

I am of the opinion that Jdramas do have a potential market value here in the U.S. If anyone is a fan of HYD, Kimi wa Petto, or Gokusen I think the live action dramas would be a nice add on to a manga/anime fan’s collection. The Japanese actors are appealing and you have another take on a series you know and love very much.

If you type Hana Yori Dango Final: The Movie in the Amazon search box, you will see it has a pretty high user rating. The reviews of the final film are also favorable too. This is an indication of how a Japanese production series can be just as popular as the anime/manga. It just needs a chance to be introduced to the market.

I will always dream and wish for the day when I see on Amazon the official DVD release of my favorite Jdramas. For now, I will have to be satisfied with the nostalgia it brings me when I think about the series. Or I get a new computer and just look for the fansubs on the Internet for download.