GUMI Megpoid Cosplay – Donut Hole

For those of you unfamiliar with this cosplay, it’s Gumi from her song, Donut Hole. See below:

Gumi is my favourite vocaloid. I’ve cosplayed as her twice before.

Click here to see the Difficult Love cosplay

Click here to see the Matryoshka cosplay

Festival of Lights @ Vandusen Park!

I went to the Festival of Lights at Vandusen Park in early December, back when the daily Covid case count wasn’t too bad. It’s a bit worrying how high the daily case count is now in British Columbia.

Some of the lights reminded me of fireflies!

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Canada Post Community Foundation Fireflies stamp (2021) to compare.

2022 Plans for Blogging, Social Media, & More

In my last post, I wrote that blogging and cosplaying were hit negatively. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem like blogging is that popular anymore. Lots of people have drifted away, and I’m in the same boat, hanging by a thread.

The blog is like an echo chamber of what I’ve already posted on Instagram. Posting the same images feels redundant, and I think Instagram posts get more attention anyway.

I confess that I don’t have a lot of self-confidence in my cosplays. I get days where I look at someone’s photos and feel self-conscious of my own. Is this surprising? I’ve felt this way with my drawings, and I haven’t drawn anything in several months. I know that it’s not a competition, but I guess there’s a mental block. As a result, I severely lack motivation. There’s a couple of cosplays I haven’t posted on the blog yet (due to the redundancy reason), so stay tuned for that.

I like posting. I like taking pictures for a number of reasons, the biggest being that it’s a record. It’s fun, and it keeps me occupied. I’m not going to quit cosplaying just yet, but I just don’t think it’s the focus of my posts anymore. There’s something I’ve more interested in at the moment, and that is:

Mori Kei.

studio ghibli gifs

In simple terms, it is described as a “forest girl” style. I’ve admired this fashion style for many years now. To me, it’s not just clothing, but also a lifestyle. I think that the activities associated with mori kei align with my interests extremely well, so the goal for 2022 is to be more intentional with it. I think it’ll be fun to document my mori kei journey, and it’ll also motivate me and keep me accountable.

It’ll be a gradual process. I don’t like the idea of discarding your old clothes because they don’t fit the aesthetic, and I also don’t like the idea of spending a fortune to achieve this goal. Part of the intentionality piece is being more mindful of what I buy this year.

I won’t lie, I lost a number of followers on my Cosplay Instagram for posting non-cosplay content. Being more serious about mori kei means that I’ll need a platform to post on. I suppose the options are converting the Cosplay Instagram (which is also my main account) into a mori kei + cosplay account, or using a different account. There’s also mori kei outfits versus everyday stuff, and whether I want to separate those or keep them in the same account.

I know, this stuff shouldn’t be complicated, but I also think we need to think about how we spend our time, especially when it comes to social media and online activity.

Any thoughts?

2021 Year-End Review

I started writing year-end review posts last year. Click here to read my post from 2020.

1. I got into crafts, and I credit the pandemic as the main reason. I’ve been into art since I was a kid, but I didn’t do much of it. Since I stayed home all of last year and the beginning of 2021, I had to do something with all my free time. I attended a virtual workshop for clay, and I became interested in learning how to make a bunch of different crafts. I mostly learned how to do everything by myself, and I’ve made a lot more than what you see here. I still do all of these things.

2. I got a boyfriend. In early 2020, I started writing letters to a guy I knew but was not close with. Becoming penpals was random and spontaneous, but it brought joy to my mundane life. Again, I stayed at home for all of 2020. The guy lives in the same province, so he sometimes brought me bubble tea to my door, socially distanced-style. For this reason, he was the person I saw the most in 2020. And I guess one thing led to another.

Moya knows him as the four-leaf clover guy because my boyfriend surprised me with four-leaf clovers before we started dating. He knew that I like four-leaf clovers, and it was his first time finding them.

3. Blogging and cosplaying were hit negatively. I’m not sure if these were because I have other interests now or because of other reasons. I haven’t been to a convention in a long time, but at least I’m still posting every once in a while. Oh, and you will find me most active on my Instagram or Twitter.

I’ve been thinking about the future directions of my blog and social media accounts. Stay tuned for a post about that in the near future.

4. I am still enjoying the little things in life. This was one of the points I made in last year’s post. The people around me have told me that they’ve noticed this about me, and I’m grateful for what I have and who I am today.

Please let me know how 2021 has been for you. Send me a link if you make a post like this!

First-time things~

We assembled melon cream soda for the first time. I’m happy with the presentation. ^^

This was my first time baking something since Grade 8 Foods, and my first time baking sugar cookies. We shared the sugar cookies with our friends and family and received a lot of positive comments. We made six batches but they were gone really quickly. I’m proud. ^^

Happy Holidays!

I meant to post these pictures on Christmas Day.

Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya~

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It was a White Christmas this year in BC, Canada. A lot of you know that I detest the snow. It can be okay, I guess. Just okay.

Snow bunnies~

Book Review: Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Ryunosuke Akutagawa is one of Japan’s most influential writers, regarded as the “father of the Japanese short story”. He’s most famous for the short stories, Rashomon, In a Bamboo Grove, and The Nose.

The book I borrowed contained a timeline of Akutagawa’s life leading up to his suicide in 1892, which helped me understand his life more. The book also has an introductory chapter by Haruki Murakami. I was really surprised to see that. As you may know, I like Murakami a lot.

Akutagawa has written a lot of short stories, and the book I borrowed contained both his famous and lesser-known works. I liked that because it provided me with a more holistic understanding of his writing.

I won’t talk about all the short stories but the ones that left a deep impression on me, good or bad.

In a Bamboo Grove

This is by far my favourite short story in the book. The story is told from various characters’ points of view as they recount a murder. Even the ghost of the deceased shares his point of view. What’s fascinating is that the characters’ accounts contradict, so you’re left debating who the killer was.

Rashomon

Rashomon is about a man who is contemplating whether to become a robber, and he encounters a woman in the middle of stealing from a corpse. This story shows irony and hypocrisy really well. One thing I love about Akutagawa’s stories is that there’s a lot to reflect upon and think about once you’re done reading the story.

The Nose

I didn’t resonate with The Nose too much. I thought that Akutagawa’s writing in this story was too negative.

Hell Screen

This story is about a painter who is tasked with the challenge of painting hell, but he cannot paint what he has not seen. This is my second favourite story in the book. It reminds me a bit of Edogawa Rampo’s horror stories (See my review here). This story has macabre elements and is quite dark. I like it very much.

The style of Akutagawa’s stories changed a lot in his writing career. He has some stories on Christianity, some thought-provoking stories, some autobiographical stories, and some more horrifying stories such as this one. I like his macabre stories the most.

The Head That Fell Off

This story made me think a lot. When a person faces a near-death situation, will they change their ways, or will they fall back to their old bad habits? It’s easy to think about how badly most people fail with new years resolutions, but those aren’t in life or death situations.

Horse Legs

I did not like this story. However, it’s worth mentioning because of how uncanny it is. I can appreciate this aspect, but again, I did not like this story because it was too weird and creepy. I felt uncomfortable reading it.

Spinning Gears

I felt that I knew Akutagawa personally because of this autobiographical story. If you check the timeline of his life, the events are just about identical. This was one of the last stories he wrote before he died by suicide.

Closing thoughts

Read this book! It was such a journey, especially with how the book is divided into three parts. I can see why Ryunosuke Akutagawa is a renowned writer, and I’ll be thinking about his works for a long time.

Platinum End – Episode 1-9 Impressions

I’m a huge fan of Death Note so naturally, I had to check out Platinum End.

Platinum End is a killing game in which the winner becomes the god of the world. Mirai Kakehashi is granted wings and red arrows that make people fall in love with him. He learns that his childhood friend and crush, Saki Hanakago, is also a god candidate. Things become complicated when a god candidate that goes by the name of Metropoliman begins killing other god candidates. Kakehashi and Hanakago team up with another god candidate, and they try to stop Metropoliman.

I didn’t go in thinking that Platinum End would be on the same level of greatness as Death Note. After all, it seems too difficult to make something at the same high standard. However, I couldn’t help but compare Mirai Kakehashi with Light Yagami of Death Note. Although I was not a Kira supporter, I prefer Light Yagami over Mirai Kakehashi any day. They are opposites. If anything, I felt frustrated watching Kakehashi’s behaviours and words in the show. He has no backbone, and he doesn’t act when he needs to. Does he want to stop Metropoliman or not!? I may be a bit harsh, but I also don’t understand his logic. He rushes in to stop Metropoliman, but then he hesitates in the crucial moments.

Hanakago does not stand out at all. She’s also unhelpful in stopping Metropoliman. I thought she had changed in episode 9. I was excited (even though I thought it was an unbelievable and dramatic change) but perhaps I was wrong.

The events in Platinum End are random. The characters have no plan when they try to stop the villain. Metropoliman, on the other hand, is intelligent. I can think of a long list of characters from other shows that can do a better job than Kakehashi and his group.

The characters feel so unbalanced. I’ve written about intelligence and ambition, but even the characters’ appearances seem so unbalanced. Kakehashi and Hanakago look so plain compared to Kanade Uryu (Metropoliman). Even the other villains so far have more eye-catching designs (e.g., Mimimi Yamada, Hajime Sokotani).

I’ve been complaining a lot. I don’t think I’m being nitpicky, though. I really enjoyed a certain episode, as it was exciting and intense. However, I finished episode 9 and have yet to experience that again.

The question is whether to continue this series or not. There are 24 episodes, so we haven’t reached the halfway mark yet. At this point, I’m reluctant to recommend this anime.

For those of you who are watching this show, what do you think?

My Spotify Wrapped 2021

I’m not sure if anyone cares for this, but I’m writing this post for myself. It’s nice to have a place to look back to some years in the future.

My Spotify Wrapped 2020

My Spotify Wrapped 2019

My top genres were Chinese pop, Japanese pop, Korean pop, Thai pop, and Japanese video game music. I don’t listen to a lot of English songs. So yeah, I don’t really expect many of you to know the music I listen to.

I shared this song in a blog post, and it still gets a lot of views today. Click here to see it.

Joker Xue has been on my Spotify Wrapped for the third year in a row now, so I’m not surprised about this.

It was 33k last year.

The audio aura thing is new. I wonder how it’s determined. What does dramatic music sound like, anyway?

If you have a Spotify wrapped, what was your audio aura? I’m curious!