more diary posts

I’ve been posting a lot of anime reviews so here’s a diary post.

Bubble tea at Chatime with the crew before the school term started.

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Rooftop garden at my university. This was taken on the first day of school.

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These were taken on Halloween.

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Bingsu at Passion8 with my classmates.

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Dropped: Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes (Holmes of Kyoto)

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Holmes of Kyoto is a 12-episode anime that aired in July 2018. I became interested in it because I like Sherlock Holmes, but Holmes in this anime is pretty different from Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is knowledgeable on antiques, but his personality is different from Sherlock Holmes.

Synopsis: Mashiro Aoi walks into an antique shop in Kyoto. There she meets Yagashira Kiyotaka, nicknamed “Holmes,” and she starts working there with him. Together, they solve cases related to antiques and artwork.

The cases are not like those in Detective Conan, which I thought this was cool because they were doing their own thing with it. The cases are about antique counterfeits and art thieves, which isn’t super interesting. Some anibloggers critiqued the show from the start by saying it was unimaginative, and it did get boring. It seemed that every episode progressively became more uneventful so I dropped it.

I genuinely enjoyed this anime in the beginning. I was learning about Japanese antiques, history and festivals so I thought it was informative yet pleasant to watch. I dropped it after watching episode 6.

Review: Inuyashiki

I wrote the bulk of this review in May 2018. This 11-episode anime came out in October 2017.

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Synopsis: One night at a park, an explosion takes place and two people are killed. The extraterrestrial beings that caused the explosion repair their bodies but turn the two people into robots. The two people are Inuyashiki, a 50 year old man who looks like a grandpa, and a teenager named Hiro. With their robot bodies, they are able to do a lot of things that humans cannot do, such as cure diseases, heal people, kill people, control technology, and fly into space. Inuyashiki uses his powers to do good and heal people. Hiro, on the other hand, uses his powers to mass murder people.

It’s very interesting to see how people react differently to new powers. I was interested from the start, but I wasn’t hooked until I watched episode 6. That’s when things really picked up. The ending made sense to me because I’m not sure how they would end it otherwise. It was kind of expected. The last episode showed President Trump and an interesting depiction of him.

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This is probably one of my favourite anime. You don’t normally see a super cool, older man as the protagonist in anime. Hiro loves One Piece, and Trump is in anime. The opening theme is one of my favourite songs. It’s by MAN WITH A MISSION.

Book Review: Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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Edogawa Rampo is known as the Father of Japanese mystery writing. If you are into mystery or horror, read this book! There are nine short stories in this book, and I’ll be talking about two stories that left lasting impressions on me.

1. The Human Chair

I was sucked in the story before I realized it. The writing is superlative! It’s about a person who stays inside a chair and his experiences of people sitting on him. It was weird but it was right up my alley. I was so fascinated, I could not stop reading.

Then I read Junji Ito’s retelling of the story! Junji Ito is a popular mangaka who specializes in horror manga. Junji retells The Human Chair with an alternate ending and I loved it. I recommend reading Rampo’s short story then reading Junji’s manga.

2. The Red Chamber

Have you ever thought about the perfect crime, and if such a thing is possible? This short story talks about the perfect crime, and it does have logic to it. Several examples are provided in this story. One line I loved from the story was, “Not any ordinary type of murder, I told myself, but murder which would baffle even Sherlock himself!”


It was interesting to see that Sherlock reference but it makes sense because Rampo was influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was also interesting to see Edgar Allan Poe’s influence on Rampo’s writing, because Poe was a significant figure to Rampo’s work.

This shouldn’t be surprising, but many of these stories are about murder and a lot of the times they are told from the murderer’s perspective. I get that it’s not for everybody!

Toxicity in Spirited Away’s Bathhouse

Toxicity in place is one of the themes I found most prominent in Studio Ghibli’s film, Spirited Away.  I believe that No Face is the embodiment of a person’s personality and desires. The characters in the bathhouse are toxic because they are driven by greed, so when No Face eats the characters in the bathhouse, it becomes this monster who acts and consumes food in a very uncivilized manner.

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When No Face later goes to Zeniba’s cottage, No Face acts very different. Now that No Face has a purpose and is in a place with kind people, it can be the best version of itself. No Face doesn’t need to “eat” anyone because it can be itself.

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I think this theme is very important in our lives because I’ve seen people change both in personality and appearance – in the clothes people wear and how they resemble the people who inhabit those shared spaces. A place can be the home environment, school, the workplace, the community, your friend group – it can be a lot of places. If you feel that the environments you are currently in are not good for your mental health or are impacting you in ways that you don’t like, I urge you to think about if the place is fit for you, and if leaving the toxic environment is an option. Some food for thought.


I wasn’t sure of No Face’s gender (I don’t believe it’s identified in the film) so I’m not sure if I should use he, they, or another pronoun. Please feel free to enlighten me and I can change the post to make it better. Thanks. 🙂

Review: Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)

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After the Rain was a show I looked forward to every week when it came out.

Synopsis: Due to a foot injury, Akira Tachibana is unable to continue track at her high school. On a rainy day, Tachibana enters Garden Cafe and meets Masami Kondou, the 45 year old manager of the cafe. This story is about Tachibana’s romantic feelings towards Kondou and it explores the themes of friendships and new beginnings.

This anime is not problematic!!! While the premise may seem inappropriate because of the big age gap, Tachibana confesses her feelings early on in the show. Spoiler, but the relationship they have in the start of the series doesn’t really progress. I’m talking about the anime only. Instead, the anime shifts and explores both Tachibana’s friendship with her friend from the track team and Kondou’s friendship with his old-time friend who is a successful writer.

There’s also the theme of loss, because of Tachibana’s injury and her loss of not being able to run anymore. Running was important to her because it was a part of her identity. Kondou also experienced loss because his goal of publishing a book never became fruitful. There’s also the theme of new beginnings, which I found uplifting.

If you enjoy writing or reading novels, then this anime may especially appeal to you because there are references to Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. I wonder if Akira Tachibana’s name was deliberately chosen because of the director and screen writer. In fact, After the Rain is one of Kurosawa’s films. It’s cool that this anime shares the same title as the 1999 film.

Imagery: The animation is gorgeous! The colours are so pretty and there are lovely shots of the rain and hydrangea flowers. Tachibana’s eyes are so beautiful to look at. The last episode amazed me with its beautiful imagery.

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Music: Aimer sings the ending song! Her song, Ref:rain, is so good. There’s also a lot of calming but beautiful instrumental music.

If you decide to watch this anime, do not go in expecting Tachibana and Kondou to become a couple. Instead, enjoy the beautiful imagery, music and themes on friendships, loss and new beginnings.