Tipsy Takes — Karnaval, dub

(A/N: Coherent conclusion added in the final segment.)

As the title suggests, I’ve been drinking. Having said that, the pink-haired guy is super hot, just saying. I shouldn’t say “saying” twice in the same sentence. And I ove spell check. Love. Not ove.

Anyway, I’ve been watching Karnaval. First off, the names acting in this. I’ve heard Chris Ayers; I’ve heard Sean Michael Taegue. I’ve heard J. Michael Tatum. I’ve heard David Matranga. I’ve heard Ian Sinclair. Heck, I even heard Brittney Karbowski at one point. (Yo, where my Hakuouki fans attt???) The delivery is on point, and the characters are well cast. Hearing Ayres voice a character outside of his susual zone is pretty interesting. We’re talking more a Mahiro/Heisuke than a Shion/Clear, and I love it. I mean, I enjoy most if not all of the roles I’ve heard him in to be frank. And then I heard Vic Mignogna as Karouku and it brough that whole can of worms back so WHY you gotta be doing innapropriate things, Vic?? I used to look up to you but that ship has sailed.

Okay, so yeah, the voices rock. (WHy is my husband just standing in the kitchen. What’s going on over there?) VIsually, this show is beautiful. Honest, I love the colors and shading. I love Nai’s two-tone hair cause I also have two-tone anime character hair.  And speaking of Nai, he’s SO STINKING CUTE. Like, honestly. That boy is so cute. But he’s also a rabbittttt; I just wanna hug him. And the rest of the cast isn’t slouching either. Gareki is a bad ass who secretly needs a hug. Poor child. And the magician air ship leaders are also hot. So, you know. Win win win. (Now husband is petting the cat. What is going on over there and should I join in??)

Not everything in this anime is super well-explained. Like, Yogi’s “allergy” is kinda glossed over and why anyone wants Nai is questionable even until episode 12—when I’m writing this portion, incidentally—so I don’t really appreciate the plot holes even though they don’t ruin the anime. It has a lot of potential to be better if they can expand with a remake or a season 2. IS this a manga?

Every time you drink 2 galsses of wine, drink a bottle of water. I am learning this today. Cause you’re gonna get a headache. Look, I’m imparting knoweldge.

Anyway, when it started, I kinda thought it was gonna have BL undertones, but then I realized that Nai was a literal child, and I was really realeved that Gareki is just like a brother to him. Thank goodness. I started watching Pandora HEarts before I branched off into this, and I’m liking this a lot more. Everyone just wants to take care of child-rabbit Nai. Can I help?

It’s just so pretty to look at. I’m about.

There are no ships in this show. Seriously, nada. Except I kinda ship that Jiki guy with the glasses with the cranky curly haired lutenent gitl whos nake (i tried typing that word like four times and I vie up now) I can’t remember. Na,e NAME i can’t remember. THere we go. I’m probably not supposed to, but I do. Maybe they’re siblings, cause I could get behind that too, but I’d prefer they are not so I can ship them. Yes

Okay, I’m gonna go watch the last few epusodes and finish up my review then BRBBBBB

I had to jump back in and say that Akari the pink haired hot doctor is such an impish bastard but i still love himm okay back to the show

Forgive my cursing okya back to the show again

Josei is so fun because they characterize characters like real people instead of like steriotypes or ideals and i think thats super cool. Like they say real people things that those people would. Like “Grow a pair” or something equally crass.

Oh, yeah. This is a manga. I had forgotten.

Okay, so I’m finishing this post completely sober and two days later. I had places to be and was only able to finish the final episode after several hours had passed. (Don’t worry; Husband did the driving and nothing I did required concentration. It was all quite safe and undisruptive to the general populous.) I’m a huge light-weight and, having re-read this, I question whether I should post it at all. I began writing this because I thought maybe it would help me over my “plague” hurdle. I thought perhaps I was trying too hard to organize my thoughts and that, if I just let them run freely, I might be able to produce some content. Well, I did let them run, and it DID produce content, though perhaps not the most coherent. In fact, I feel like one can probably track the descent through my third glass of wine, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

Summing up my thoughts on Karnaval, I’d have to say that I enjoyed it, but it had a lot of unrealized potential. I believe it was a manga-bait title, and it has succeeded because I do feel like I’m going to check out the manga next for more/more detailed content. It also suffered from “save any and all answers until the end” syndrome, but I can’t fault it. I enjoy this josei title because the characters felt honest, characteristically speaking. The cast spoke in real ways to each other, and the characters weren’t idealized. Also, in josei, things don’t always work out, because that’s life. Shoujo hasn’t realized that yet, but her big sister knows all too well.

He just needs some emotional support, guys.

I’d say it’s worth a watch, but don’t pin all your hopes on it for “anime of the year” or what have you. I enjoyed it and so, for me, I felt it time well spent.

And guys, I think I might have beat the plague?

Please excuse any less-than-polite language I may have used in my inhibition.


Until I write again,

Shoujo 🌸

What did Shoujo Say? A Guide to Anime Terminology

*ever expanding*
*terms you’re likely to see me use*
*not an exhaustive dictionary*
*a friend asked for this, so now you have it*

❤ Bishie— Noun. Please see “Bishonen.”

❤ Bishonen— Noun. This term literally means “beautiful boy” or “pretty boy,” and it is used for boys and young men in possession of beauty which, in the term’s Japanese origin, is said to transcend gender. In short, “that bishonen is as pretty as a girl.” However, I contest that portion of the definition, because men can be pretty without being compared to girls. I mean, come one. Does THIS look like a woman to you?harada-wallpaper

❤ Bishoujo— Noun. Literally, “beautiful girl” or “pretty girl,” this term is used to describe girls or young women who are considered quite lovely. Sawako Kuronuma

❤ Boy Love— Noun. A genre of anime focusing on the romantic relationships between boys or men, marketed at a female audience. Often confused with Yaoi by western audiences, but different none the less.

Dandere— Noun. A character who is shy and reserved, perhaps appearing cold or aloof until getting to know someone. This character has feelings but doesn’t feel comfortable expressing them when a situation lacks familiarity.

Deredere— Noun. A character who is easily excitable, overtly sweet, and excessively but genuinely loving, especially toward their romantic interest! An example of a deredere is Tamaki Suoh from “Ouran High School Host Club.”

❤ Fujioshi— Noun. A girl/woman who has an undeniable affinity for Boy Love or Yaoi, often obsessing over the genres.

❤ Himedere— Noun. This title, reserved exclusively for female characters, references an individual who insists on being treated like a princess. Traditionally, they are fairly obnoxious. For the male version, please see “Oujidere.”

❤ Ikemen Noun. A man of indiscriminate age (but clearly a man rather than boy) in possession of cool, masculine looks enough to make women positively swoon. Morioka Hajime from “Collar x Malice” is a fine example.Image result for morioka hajime

❤ Josei— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at adult women, it often features realistic romantic situations or general drama. Josei may include comedy as subgenre. One example of a Josei title is “Princess Jellyfish.”

Kuudere— Noun. A character who doesn’t express emotion readily even amongst friends, often appearing cold or uncaring. Characters’ kuudere nature vary; while some kuudere are simply unemotional, others suppress their emotions because they cannot understand or label them, thus having no idea how to proceed but with perceived or true indifference. Some kuudere suppress all emotion; fewer suppress only serious emotion.

❤ Light Novels— A style of Japanese novel primarily targeting a young adult demographic, generally middle- and highschoolers.

❤ Megane— Noun. An attractive male anime character (often a bishonen) with glasses. There are several varieties from “stoic spectacles” to “bespectacled bastard boyfriend.” For more information, please click the link here.

❤ One True Pair— Noun. A One True Pair is a pairing (see Ship) that has become your favorite in a given fandom. The jury is out as to whether or not one may have multiple One True Pairs, or if the name itself suggests its absolute singularity. In example, I ship various characters in “Fullmetal Alchemist” including EdWin and LingFan, but my One True Pair is Royai.Image result for royai

❤ Otome— Noun. Literally a “maiden game,” otome is a story-driven game genre marketed to females; aside from the traditional plot goal, otome often includes the additional directive of developing a romantic relationship with the player’s choice of  bishonen selected from among a reverse harem. An example of an otome game is “Mystic Messenger.”

❤ Otoge— Noun. An abbreviated term indicating “otome game.” Please see “Otome.”

❤ OTP— Noun. Please see “One True Pair.”

❤ Oujidere— Noun. This title is reserved exclusively for male characters and references an individual who insists on being treated like a prince. Traditionally, they are fairly pompous. An example of an oujidere is Ciel Phantomhive from “Black Butler.” For the female version, please see “Himedere.”Image result for ciel phantomhive

❤ Seinen— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at older adolescent boys and adult men, it often features complicated or psychological plots. It includes various subgenres such as horror and mystery. An example of a seinen series is “Steins;Gate.”

❤ Ship— Noun. This term refers to the two characters being paired together by a fan during the act of shipping. Often, ships will be given fan names. In example, the ship of Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from “Fullmetal Alchemist” is oft referred to as Royai, while the ship of Hijikata Toshizo and Yukimura Chizuru from “Hakuouki” is referred to as HijiChi. Additionally, puns can be made regarding the term, such as (upon your ship finally becoming cannon), “My ship has sailed!”

❤ Shipping— Adjective. Taken from the word “relationship,” it is the act of a fan pairing two characters together romantically, whether or not that pairing (see ship) is canonical (cannon). In example, many people ship Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from “Fullmetal Alchemist.” Forms are: to ship, have shipped, am shipping.

❤ Shonen— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at a young male audience, shonen titles are often adapted from light novels. “Attack on Titan” is an example of a shonen title.

❤ Shoujo— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at girls and young women, it frequently (abet, not always) features idealized romance and quite often literally sparkles.Image result for magic kyun sparkles

❤ Tsundere— Noun. A character who appears cold (or even cruel) on the outside to mask their mashed potato heart. In example, Hijikata Toshizo of “Hakuouki” infamy is a tsundere, as is Taiga of “Toradora.”

❤ Tsun-tsun— Noun. Please see “Tsundere.”

❤ Yandere— Noun. Oh, gosh, someone help you. A character to appears normal (or even endearing/appealing) before suddenly turning into a possessive psychopath over their “true love.” A yandere may resort to locking the object of their obsession in a dog crate or literally killing their romantic competition. *”Amnesia Memories” spoilers* Toma from the anime and otome game “Amnesia Memories” is a classic example of a yandere.

❤ Yaoi— Noun. Often confused with Boy Love by western audiences, this is a genre of anime focusing on the sexual relationships between boys and men, marketed at a female audience.




A Tale of Warrior Spirit: Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ (MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

“Hakuouki” is a tale of warrior spirit.

What does this mean?

Based in the late Edo and early Maji Periods of Japan, this historical/ supernatural piece of creative fiction on the Shinsengumi is grounded in fact but heavily spiced with unexpected fantasy.

The group record of Kondo, Hijikata, Sannan, Okita, Saito, Nagakura, Harada, and Heisuke is told through the eyes of young Yukimura Chizuru, a 16-year-old girl who leaves home in search of her absent father, Kodo, who is well respected for his role as a doctor of western medicine. Her journey quickly leads her into the hands of the Wolves of Mibu; in a twist most unexpected, Chizuru becomes their ward, acting as their housekeeper while falling deeper and deeper into their lives in a way that proves that all our stories have the potential to intertwine. The most seemingly chance encounters can alter us irrevocably.

“Hakuouki” is one of the single most emotional anime programs that I’ve ever seen. I’ve re-viewed it so many times, and what keeps me returning is the depth of its feeling and examinations. Join these men on a pilgrimage of warrior conviction as they examine unchanging principles and the limits of their own strength.

Romance is present, but not singularly focal, straightforward, or simple. Action is present, well-contrived, and necessary, but it does not detract. Humor frequently peppers this episodic tale, but never once does it overwhelm the seriousness of circumstance.

I cannot recommend “Hakouki” highly enough.

There are several ways to enjoy the pinnacle of shoujo (dare I say anime in general?) that is the “Hakuouki” franchise, but I find that the watch order is of critical import when considering the series’ emotional impact. Below I include two orders for your consideration, but I highly suggest watch order “A” that one might garner the greatest appreciation for and experience the utmost power of the series. I strongly feel that watch order “B,” which includes spoilers by its nature, does not offer the same thrill of revelation offered by “A.” In watch order “A,” you watch events unfold and only after experiencing a breadth of emotion do you begin to understand why. In a way, the experience mirrors life; we don’t begin our journeys with all the information at hand. We learn and grow together as we go along.

Watch Order “A”—Production Order

  1. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010)
  2. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Record of the Jade Blood (2010)
  3. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ A Memory of Snow Flowers (2011)
  4. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Dawn of the Shinsengumi (2012)

Watch Order “B”—Canonical Events Order

  1. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Dawn of the Shinsengumi (2012)
  2. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010) **ONLY EP 1-8**
  3. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ A Memory of Snow Flowers (2011)
  4. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010) **EP 9-12**
  5. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Record of the Jade Blood (2010)

Only after completing a watch through of the available seasons do I recommend watching the feature length films: “Hakuoki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Wild Dance of Kyoto” (2013) and “Hakuoki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Warrior Spirit of the Blue Sky” (2014). These films present a slightly alternate but very possible reality and are difficult to understand without the greater detail provided by the series. They present themselves in some ways darker than the original anime, and yet in some ways more hopeful.

Everyone has a preference regarding subtitled or voice dubbed anime. I have seen the entirety of “Hakuouki” in the dub repeatedly, and I have seen many portions with subtitles. Even if you prefer subtitles, I highly HIGHLY suggest watching “Hakuouki” in the dub first if you’re a native English speaker. I say this not because the original voice cast is not talented. I am, after all, watching the subtitled version in pieces and I would not do that should it prove unworthy of my time. No, I suggest the voice dub because, in an anime this emotionally charged, in which every moment means something and every word has an inflection to be appreciated and understood clearly, in which every single glance may matter in a given moment and should not be missed, I strongly feel that you will get the most impact hearing the work in your own language.

My advice is that, at least on your first watch through, you choose the English dub. Watch it, absorb it in the way most linguistically accessible to you. The English cast is PHENOMENAL, as one might expect from an anime so worthy of praise.

The original “Hakuouki” game has spawned so much media that it is unreal, and this should be taken as testament to its greatness. Sometimes, shows that are only so-so get renewed, revamped, re-envisioned…

…but this is not one of them. “Hakuouki” is a masterpiece of anime.

Take a look at the trailers below if you’d like a spoiler-free taste of the titles above:

Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010)

Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Record of the Jade Blood (2010)

Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ A Memory of Snow Flowers (2011)

Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Dawn of the Shinsengumi (2012)

I feel very strongly about this title’s place in anime greatness, and I’d love to discuss it with you. In addition to those aspects of story and acting mentioned above, the animation and characterization are absolutely top notch.

Knowing the path of this emotional story, the opening to Hakuouki Reimeiroku (Dawn of the Shinsengumi) can nearly move me to tears on its own.

Help me get the word out, if you would. I don’t normally say things like this, but care to share the post? Let’s start a conversation. Let’s talk.

I hope this finds you well,


Because “Princess Jellyfish” (DUB), that’s why.

Blogger’s Note: Oh, anime enthusiasts, I’m tired. I’m so, so, so tired. I think I’m even giving Lethargic Ramblings (@AlwaysLethargic on Twitter, btw) a run for their money in terms of exhaustion. These past few weeks have been a stressful and emotional roller coaster, and I should be doing homework (FINALS. NO. SAVE ME.) and preparing for work tomorrow, but’s it’s been so long since I’ve had the energy and opportunity to blog, and that’s just not okay. But, the other day, I did have some time to myself, and I stumbled across a great josei (anime meant for adult women, a more mature version of shoujo) called “Princess Jellyfish.” I don’t know what to expect, but I’ve liked just about every josei I’ve seen, and this one hasn’t been letting me down, let me tell you right now. I’m about to get into the actual post regarding the show, but there is one more thing I’d like to share…

Greg Ayres (a voice actor from my “top voice actors” post a while back—you can find it if you search for the voice actors tag on my blog) liked a post in which I’d mentioned him on Twitter. I AM SUCH A LUCKY DUCK BECAUSE TALENTED VOICE ACTOR-SENSEI NOTICED MY TWEET!! (I’m a nerd, I know, I know.)

Anyway, on to the blog.

I’m a few episodes in. Let’s talk about this. I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but some are unavoidable, so you’ve been warned. (If you want to go watch it first and then come back, go ahead. I’ll wait. *goes back to doing homework and sipping coffee*)

“Princess Jellyfish” has a plot synopsis as follows:

Princess Jellyfish.jpg

Eighteen-year-old Tsukimi lives in an apartment building filled to the brim with otaku women and only otaku women. These strange beings from another planet are content with their “sisterhood,” and firmly reject societal standards of beauty. Living in the building (called Amamizukan) are a train enthusiast, a collector of kimonos and maker of doll clothes, a women who rarely speaks but is unmistakably attracted exclusively to older men, and a loud woman who lives in a fantasy world modeled around The Records of the Three Kingdoms. Oh, and a boys love manga artist who is also a vampire…

…well, maybe not a vampire, but I’ve yet to see her “in person” and she’s never come out during daylight hours, so… I’ll call it like I see it for now! 😛

Tsukimi meets these women (all in their 30s) online. They invite her to live with them. And Tsukimi’s “thing?” It’s jellyfish. She draws them, she researches them, she obsesses over them.

As I said, the women are seemingly content and take their sisterhood very seriously…

…and then, one day, Tsukimi has an unexpected sleepover with a crossdresser and everything goes to hell in the best possible way. 😉

Immediately I’m realizing that this show has a lot of heart. We find out rather quickly that Tsukimi’s fondness for jellyfish stems from a conversation she had with her late mother. Tsukimi’s mother always told her that women grow into princesses, and that someday she would design Tsukimi a beautiful wedding dress inspired by the tentacles of a specific breed of jellyfish that the pair saw together at an aquarium. Having since grown up and not become that “princess” of a woman in a way that she, as a child, thought would happen naturally, you can tell that Tsukimi has thrown herself into “being a geek” because it is a realm in which she feels comfortable. She constantly struggles to believe that she could be dolled up without someone attempting to make fun of her. She frequently speaks to her mother in her mind, and I often wonder if she fears having let her down. She doesn’t recognize her own beauty. She’s afraid of talking to men, and her self-confidence is zilch. She is too afraid to try and look conventionally attractive because she is afraid of failure. She says it’s about not conforming to standards, but that isn’t the whole of it. I know, because I see Tsukimi, and I see so many people that I have known, people that I have been close to. It breaks my heart that she thinks so little of her own princess potential, and I hope to see her discover as the series progresses that perhaps her mother didn’t mean “princess” the way that young Tsukimi interpreted her remarks at the time.

I want Tsukimi to realize that she already can be the sort of princess that her mother intended.  The crossdresser that I mentioned earlier? His name is Kuranosuke, and he’s the illegitimate son of a wealthy family entrenched in politics. He dresses like a woman for his own reasons, but still firmly considers himself a man. He’s such a fun character. From what I’ve been so far able to ascertain, he’s going to play a vital role in her transformation-that-isn’t-really-a-transformation-so-much-as-a-lifestyle-choice/perspective-alteration.

This show has some great moments that have made me laugh hysterically. One such moment is when a gay couple applies to live in Amamizukan. Men, however, are technically not allowed to set foot inside the building, much less live there. Mayaya (kingdoms-obsessed woman) just LOOSES HER COMPOSURE, rhetorically asking if the couple in question thought that their amazing gay love should make the current residents fall all over themselves just because said residents are women! It was just too much. 100/10

The characters are fun, the plot humorous, and the potential is there to make this a great anime. Now I just need to find the time to finish it and find out! (No, Shoujothoughts, not now! You must do homework. I know you want to rewatch the gay couple clip. It’s hilarious, I get it, but DON’T DO IT. Stop procrastinating!!)

I’ll write a review once I finish the show, but now you know my thoughts so far on “Princess Jellyfish.”

So, tell me, what did you think? “Princess Jellyfish” is available to stream from Funimation.

Until next time,