Fan Art Friday: Summer Sun

Meiling beachA fun little sketch of Li Meiling from Cardcaptor Sakura enjoying the summer sun on the beach.  You can see the outline of a beach blanket.  I apparently did not finish her hands lol.

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Fan Art Friday: Happy 4th of July!

Another sketch from my high school notebook.  I don’t know why these Chinese and Japanese characters from Cardcaptor Sakura are celebrating the US Independence Day, but hey, I gave them cute costumes.  Li Syaoran is Uncle Sam, Sakura is the Statue of Liberty, and Meiling is doing acrobatics in a festive parade-watching outfit.

I hope you all here in the US have a great holiday weekend (if you’re really lucky this year it’s four days :)).  Even if our country’s not perfect, we have a lot to be proud of and thankful for.  We can celebrate and look forward to an even better future together.

Fan Art Friday: Sakura calls on JUMP

Sakura jump2

 

Another Cardcaptor Sakura sketch.  Here she has her staff from the second story arc, with the Sakura cards, and she has just used the JUMP card (maybe still in her hand).  The costume is my design.  She has cool boots, and some kind of tulle coming out from an underskirt.

I really like her hair in this one!  And the cape.  I was obviously trying to indicate some movement during her jump.

This is dated 2003 at the bottom.  This is when I was in high school, almost 15 years ago!

Movie Review: Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) was the biggest movie in Japan last year—it is now the fourth-highest grossing film of all time in that country.  It was technically released for one week in LA last year, in order qualify for Oscar consideration…an then it wasn’t even nominated.  Luckily, it was brought back to US theaters this weekend, where I was able to see it.

A synopsis of the story from Google:

The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more – a chance to finally meet.

And here’s the English trailer (you can find the Japanese one here):

It’s easy to see why this movie was so popular last year.  The animation is gorgeous, and the story is a great mix of genres, with a feeling I would call bittersweet, tinged with hope.  I think even people that don’t normally like “anime” would like this movie.

I’m not sure how long Your Name will be in theaters, but I’d definitely recommend seeing it while you can.  I was able to find a theater only 30 minutes away from me showing it in both dubbed English and Japanese with subtitles.  (I’m sure it will be out on DVD soon, too.)

I saw it with subtitles and loved it. As always, there are some things that just won’t translate well. There’s actually a really funny scene where Mitsuha has switched into Taki’s body and speaks to his friends using “watashi,” and when they give her a weird look for using such a feminine form, she starts cycling through pronouns until she arrives at “ore,” which they finally accept as normal.

There’s plenty of other humor, too, which is a nice balance for the pathos of the story. No spoilers, but it ends up being way more complex than a simple teenage body-switching story.

The last thing I want to mention is the music!  As you can hear from the trailer, the music is done by a J-rock group named RADWIMPS, and it is amazing.  You can stream the soundtrack several places, including Spotify.  There are even English versions of the songs from the movie.  Definitely check out the opening song “Yumetourou,” the ending song “Nandemonaiya,” and the theme heard in the trailer “Zenzenzense.”

You can also check out the MV for “Sparkle” here with clips from the movie.

Hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did!

Fan Art Friday: It’s Time to D-D-Duel!

Yu-Gi-Oh! was one of my first anime, so of course it worked its way into my drawings in high school.

Tea card2

I always liked Téa (thought I liked Mai more…).  I traced most of her face (the eyes in particular are too good to be mine), and intended to draw a card in her hand, but I forget which one I was going to draw.

I meant to add more detail to this one, too, but never finished.  Note the glove holding Star Chips from Duelist Kindgom.  The card is the trap card Gift of the Mystical Elf, but her eyes are closed as they appear on the Mystical Elf monster card.  (I don’t know why I did that lol) The Mystical Elf was one of my favorite creatures from the anime.

I never had a chance to play the Yu-Gi-Oh! collector card game, which is like a version of the Duel Monsters card game played in the manga/anime.  But I’ve been playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links app game a lot recently, and it’s very fun.  I even have my own Gift of the Mystical Elf trap card!

The game play is really good, though not identical to the CCG or to the anime.  Several of the familiar cards have different effects/values/etc.

Playing Duel Links inspired me to start watching Yu-Gi-Oh! on Netflix again, especially after I realized I’d never seen all the episodes of Season 2 (the Battle City/Egyptian Gods arc).