Anyone who knows me in real life, knows I cannot cook. Cooking does not come naturally to me. If I can use a crockpot, it might be edible. Otherwise, the outcome is usually dismal. But! Having said that, I still wanted to try making Onigiri and Tamagoyaki since I’ve seen it in so many anime. To actual cooks, these photos may be horrifying. I did my best. I am not a big fan of eggs (my preferred way being poached, which to no one’s surprise I’ve been unable to figure out how to do it myself, despite buying gadgets online that told me I’d be able to). The idea of sugar in eggs sounded less than appealing. Happy to report, it was surprisingly delicious! I won’t say I followed the exact directions at the links below, however I did follow some of the advice mentioned, so I want to pay respect where it’s due. Please check out the links below from Just One Cookbook if you’re interested, as you’ll likely have more luck than me in following directions!
I made one plate of rice balls with pickled plum, a plate with spam, and a third plate with pickled radish. The Tamagoyaki had nori in the middle, but spinach or cream cheese might be nice to add. The pickled plum I selected was on the salty side, so I’d try a different type next time. And I probably should’ve removed the pits from the plums instead of just shoving it into the rice mold. D’oh! Ah, next time. Overall the rice balls and egg dish were tasty, so I will try them again in the future!
For dinner, I had one of each rice ball, and the Tamagoyaki. Wrapped the rest to share/eat tomorrow!
After seeing how Gou Matsuoka was oogling Haruka Nanase, and other swimmers, they may want to reconsider having her as their manager! Creepers can be ladies, not just men. Let’s be glad she didn’t get a nosebleed. Shameless!
When preparing to enter a potentially haunted area (I’d advise avoiding it altogether), if you’re relying on salt as a level of protection, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not actually sprinkling…sugar.
I just started watching Free! on VRV / Crunchyroll. It’s a sports anime about swimming. When I was at Otakon last year, I met a nice Mother and Daughter who I ate dinner with (they were visiting from PA), and they recommended this anime. I’m only five minutes into the first episode. But is this fellow older now, and out of college? And available in real life? He can make breakfast for me anytime. I’ll eat fish on toast.
I started watching Say I Love You / Sukitte Ii na yo on Hulu. I just finished episode three. I may change my mind later, but my first impression of Yamato Kurosawa is not a good one. I can appreciate he wanted to know Mei Tachibana despite her being the school pariah, and not caring what other people think. I also appreciate that he saved her when she had that stalker from work. It’s a horrible, uneasy, and unsafe feeling having someone follow you or stalk you online. Having experienced degrees of this myself, I can imagine how Mei felt, so I’m glad Yamato came to her aid. That aside, Yamato’s character as a whole, is disingenuous to me. Even before he mentioned it himself in the anime’s third episode, it was obvious he goes with the crowd, adjusts himself to other people’s expectations, and caters to the whims and fancies of others. It feels like he’s always “on.” And I hate that he does things because “I just felt like it.” It dismisses the feelings of others, and it doesn’t give weight to the repercussions of his actions. He seems oblivious to the consequences of his behavior. The girls he strings along, who chase after him, who pine after him, he never right out refuses them. Thus they carry on thinking they have a chance to win his heart. Tachibana’s distrust of him is understandable. I like that she is direct with him, that is refreshing. I’m hoping as they enter this relationship together that they will both grow as people. But at the moment, I find Yamato to be careless in his interactions with others, and he doesn’t consider how his actions affect others, especially the girls he strings along.
I just started watching Gakuen Alice on VRV / Crunchyroll. It is absurd and hilarious. The main character, Mikan Sakura, reminds me of Sana Kurata from Kodomo no Omocha / Kodocha. In the episode I’m currently watching, Mikan is attempting to recruit members to play on her dodgeball team. Since students are able to use their special abilities in the game, her classmates are reluctant to join her team. They’re hesitant because the other team’s leader, Natsume Hyuuga, has the ability to use fire. Unfortunately with Mikan’s special ability being nullification, she is disheartened to know it may be useless in the game. As she reviews her list of players, it gave me pause to wonder what she would write about me if I was on her team! I guess curly-perm isn’t the worst thing to be called, but she needs to learn people’s names!
I just finished watching season two of Kono Oto Tomare. The music the koto club plays, the way their sound conveys their happiness and soul to their audience, was exactly how I felt as the audience watching the anime. The depth of their relationships, the growth of each character, and their authenticity left a lasting impression upon me. And it wasn’t just the students of Tokise; their club advisor, koto teacher, Hozuki’s mother, and others truly learned from each other and overcame challenges so they could better relate to one another. Their self-esteem, relationships, and quality of life improved tremendously. I think a lot of us go about our day to day affairs, feeling like we’re on auto-pilot, without truly realizing the affect we have on each other. Even seemingly minor interactions can carry depth and meaning. Hopefully those interactions are sincere and add value.
Overcoming his reputation was a hurdle, but the main character Chika Kudo, learned from his mistakes and became a person of integrity and character. He defends what is precious, supports his friends, and is diligent and dedicated to playing the koto. Kudo wants to honor his grandfather’s memory, he visits him often to pay his respects, joined the koto club he created many years ago, and commits himself to daily improvement. Kudo’s grandfather must be proud of him. He’s realized what his grandfather meant about playing with friends. The club members mean so much to him, and he is an anchor providing support to everyone. But it never looks like a burden to him. Kudo now realizes the importance of being reliable, and he is happy to provide that support and warmth to others.
As hard as Chika Kudo has worked, it must be said that Tetsuki Takaoka, his best friend from childhood, was a major contributor to his growth. During the height of Kudo’s challenges, when he was getting into fights regularly, not taking care of himself, and causing turmoil for others, Tetsuki never left him or abandoned him. In fact, when Kudo didn’t return home and sat in an alley as the rain poured, it was Tetsuki who came with an umbrella to find him. He has been a grounding factor and a solid support for Kudo for most of life. Tetsuki intervenes when needed, like when he addressed those three bullies early in season one, but he tends to just support and provide advice when Kudo asks, hoping Kudo comes to his own realizations. There are nuances to human interaction that he doesn’t understand and Tetsuki delicately helps him figure those things out for himself. Tetsuki is an excellent role model, not just for Kudo, but their entire friend group. Role models don’t have to be adults, historical figures, athletes, or celebrities. They can be our peers, family members, friends, or the person we sit next to in class or at work. Tetsuki takes his education seriously (teaching his friends when they need help), cooks nutritious home-made meals for friends, is supportive to others, is able to pick up on the intricacies of human interactions, and he is a person that is loyal and respectful. Tetsuki values his friendships. Elements of Tetsuki’s personality, habits, morals, and character have influenced Kudo. If it wasn’t for Tetsuki, Kudo may’ve continued on his wayward path. With Tetsuki’s support, positive influence, and friendship, Kudo has found happiness in the “sounds of life.”
Kudo overhears the koto club’s president, Kurata, as he replies to Tetsuki “that’s my line.” Kurata realizes the importance and value of Tetsuki’s friendship. Tetsuki himself was a refuge for Kudo, providing a place for him to overcome his hardships, long before he joined the club.
If you’re looking for a show that’s warm and uplifting, I recommend Kono Oto Tomare: Sounds of Life. Both seasons are on Hulu.
I finished watching Prince of Stride on Hulu tonight. After the last episode, Hulu started auto-playing Kono Oto Tomare. Before I knew it, I had already watched eight episodes!!! It’s such a great show. I like the camaraderie of the students in the koto club. It was a delight to see multifaceted characters having growth and development, as they learn more about each other and themselves. All while improving their koto playing skills!
The relationships between the club members provide a wonderful opportunity for them to question the false beliefs they’ve held, to be honest about the challenges they’re overcoming, and to grow together as a group. I also like that Satowa Houzuki and Chika Kudou are authentic. Houzuki had a short lived front, but that facade quickly crumbled once she realized she could be herself. Houzuki and Kudou butted heads in the beginning, but they are becoming closer friends.
What really touched me, were the scenes of Kudou’s interactions with his grandfather. It’s apparent how much his grandfather loved him, and wanted him to be happy, to smile, laugh, and enjoy life. While Kudou was stubborn at the time, in hindsight he realizes the lessons his grandfather tried to teach him. In doing so, he was able to convey his emotions during his performance with the koto club. Surely his grandfather, while no longer physically present, was able to receive his message.
After bawling at that scene, I thought I’d get a relief from the water works. But no, watching the episode immediately after, I had another opportunity to cry. The owner of Nishina Instruments, who Chika Kudou affectionately calls “Granny” wants to meet with him. While not related by blood, she was a friend of his grandfather and she cares about Kudou. After seeing Kudou’s hard work, perseverance, and efforts she has a gift for him.
The Koto is said to be made in the image of a dragon, if you watch Kono Oto Tomare they explain more about this. Having wings, the feelings being played can reach the audience, through the instrument. Granny says that Kudou’s performance reached Gen, his grandfather. I’m sure he is very proud of him.
I’m watching Prince of Stride on Hulu. It’s a sports anime about parkour. In the show it’s a team sport, and they transition between runners like a relay. The members are preparing for their upcoming competition, End of Summer. Everyone has been training and working diligently. While on their way to a meet, the athletes are enjoying their lunches on the bus. Riku Yagami wants to try some of everyone’s food. Well almost everyone’s food. Takeru Fujiwara’s lunch is apparently too healthy for Yagami’s liking. Since Yagami rejected Fujiwara’s offer to share his lunch, he and the rest of the team get a lecture on nutrition. But he may be onto something since Fujiwara is one of the fastest on the team.