Beautiful Complication on DuRaRaRa!!



Complication is the second opening theme song in the anime adaptation of the series DuRaRa!! from episodes 13-25.  It is sung by the awesome band ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D.  Okay.  Before anything else, I just want to get this out of my chest.  I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this freaking song!!!  Phew.  Thank you.

When I first heard it, I completely tuned everything out except this song.  I imagine that this experience is very similar to “love at first sight”.  Hmmm.  I love everything about it.  The musicality. . .especially the guitars. . .loooooooove!!!  And most especially the vocals.  Am I the only one who goes doki-doki when the vocalist growls the lyrics during the chorus?  *sigh*  This is one of the most-played songs on my phone.  I just can’t stop listening to it.  And the rap is so cool, don’t you think so?

If you haven’t heard this song yet, gosh, you’re missing out.  Listen now!

Rating: :D :D :D :D (4 out of 5 grins)

Uploaded by:  VermillionAMV

Isn’t it wonderful?  Next up is the full-length music video of the band.  The vocalists are hot.  Ahem.  I like that it has a rugged and street-style feel to it.  It’s very appropriate for the song.

Uploaded by:  ty ty

Overall,  Complication by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D is one of my most favourite songs to listen to.

DuRaRaRa!! Official TV Anime Website (Japanese)
ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D Official Website (Japanese)

Cloud Strife by izugotchuu

Today, I’m featuring another great fan art by talented Brittney Jacosalem or izugotchuu of DevianArt.  I’ve been eyeing this young artist’s work for quite some time now.  She has graciously allowed me to feature her artwork here at fujinsei.  

One of my favourites is this Cloud Strife art.  Cloud Strife is the main protagonist of the hit RPG  series Final Fantasy VII.

Brittney’s Cloud Strife is simple, bordering between a rough sketch and a finished product, but the minimalism results in a beautiful art.  I can count roughly only about 5 colours, but I think that the simplicity works very well in emphasizing Cloud’s expression, rather than if Brittney relied on elaborate and eye-popping embellishments.

Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII by Brittney Jacosalem

Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII by Brittney Jacosalem

It’s a great art, isn’t it?  I say well done to the artist.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of Brittney’s artwork.  I recommend that you check out her DevianArt Profile.  Have a great day.  Cheers!

izugotchuu (Brittney Jacosalem) at DevianArt
Final Fantasy VII Official Game Website for Windows

ONE PIECE Life Lesson: Believe in Your Dreams


Rating:   :D :D :D :) (3 & 1/2 out of 5 grins)

I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again.  ONE PIECE is my number 1 favourite anime/manga series ever!  Believe is the second opening theme song of the anime.  It is sung by five-girl J-pop idol group Folder5.  This particular song is used in episodes 48 to 115 and also on the second movie titled ねじまき島の冒険 (Nejimaki-jima no Bouken / Clockwork Island Adventure).

Uploaded by:  Jolly Roger

Although my favourite theme song in the series is still We Are! by Kitadani Hiroshi, I still love Believe because it reflects ONE PIECE’s theme of chasing one’s dreams.  The lyrics are very inspiring.  It’s filled with doubts but hopeful at the same time.  It fits Luffy’s journey of chasing his dream of becoming the Kaizoku Ou (Pirate King).  He doesn’t know what lies ahead.  In fact, he doesn’t want to know because it makes the adventures all the more thrilling.  He doesn’t care whether people laugh or don’t believe in his dream, as long as he believes in it, that’s what’s important.

Just like what the song says, “Believe in Wonderland!”,  it doesn’t matter what others may say about your dream.  Believe in your own wonderland.  Chase it and make it a reality.  Ultimately, once you achieve your dream, all those people who didn’t believe you will have to swallow their own words.  Ah, that’s the sweetest.

I don’t like the vocals in Believe that much–sorry, Folder5–but I LOVE the melody.  The guitars. . .looooooove!!!  It’s upbeat and catchy.  It lifts my mood whenever I listen to it.

Overall, Believe by Folder5 is a good fit for ONE PIECE.  It’s not the number 1 in my list, but it certainly continues to inspire me whenever I listen to it.  What’s your favourite ONE PIECE song?

ONE PIECE fan?  Check out my i love ONE PIECE Pinterest board.

ONE PIECE Official Website (Japanese)

Dear Girl ~Stories~ 25: After Failure Comes. . .Another Failure

Title: だって…やや甘かったんだもん (Datte. . .yaya amakattan da mon / But. . .I was just a little too easy)
View Episode Guide
Rating: :D :D :D :D (4 out of 5 grins)
ATTENTION!!! Important Note: All the translations below are my own (by Arria Cross). All are labelled “rough translation”, as they did not undergo any professional proofreading and/or editing and may lack literal and/or grammatical accuracy.  I did my best, however, to convey the atmosphere and context of the conversations in this radio show.



This is the 25th episode of Kamiya Hiroshi (神谷浩史) and Ono Daisuke’s (小野大輔) radio show Dear Girl ~Stories~.  Kamiya-san immediately comments on how September is already finished, and that it’s already October. Then OnoD reflects on their journey hosting DGS. All of them congratulate themselves. Then they thank their loyal “Dear Girl” listeners who continue to support them.

OnoD reminds everyone that Kamiya-san got into the new Gundam series. In turn, Kamiya-san announces that the series will start the week after (at the time of this episode), and for everyone to please watch the show.

Afterwards is the Futsuu Sto Corner (Futsuu Story/Ordinary Story) where they read and discuss letters sent to them by their listeners.

Kikuchinsuko-san (Listener): Kamiya-san, Ono-san, good evening.
Ono: Good evening.
Kikuchinsuko-san (Listener): I just thought about it, but Ono-san‘s name should not be OnoD but Ono-M. (In Japan, M is commonly used as short of masochist while S is for sadist.  In DGS, Kamiya-san is often described as the S while OnoD is M.  Go figure.)
Ono: Why is that?
Kikuchinsuko-san (Listener): You read it as Ono-Moo.
Both (Kamiya: HAHAHAHA!!! / Ono: HOHOHOHO!!!)
Kikuchinsuko-san (Listener): You write it as Ono-M but you read it as Ono-Moo. I thought that it will be easier to call you this way. What do you think?
Ono: I wonder about that.

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Bakuman: Inspiration For All Writers, Artists, and Dreamers


Rating:  :D :D :D :D :D  (perfect 5 grins)

Bakuman. (バクマン。) is a manga series created by the same mangaka duo responsible for the masterpiece Death Note.  Like Bakuman‘s Takagi Akito, the manga is written by Oba Tsugumi-sensei (大場つぐみ) and like Mashiro Moritaka, it is illustrated by Obata Takeshi-sensei ((小畑健).  The manga is then adapted into a 3-season anime, faithfully following the manga’s original plot.

A brief synopsis:  The series revolves around the 2 main protagonists, Mashiro Moritaka and Takagi Akito, in their quest to fulfill their dream of becoming a successful mangaka duo, much like the manga creators Oba-sensei and Obata-sensei.  A successful mangaka for them is someone who can live off of their earnings.

Of course, there is more to the story besides this.  Most of the secondary characters, even the minor characters, have impact on the plot, especially on Mashiro and Takagi’s journey of fulfilling their dream.  Some may include Azuki Miho and even Miyoshi Kaya (Mahiro and Takagi’s love interests respectively) as part of the main protagonists because of their major influence on Mashiro and Takagi’s dream.  However, I don’t consider them as such because the series mainly focuses on the tribulations and successes of Mashiro and Takagi.

What I love about this series is that it is a great inspiration for all creative writers, artists, and dreamers.  Mashiro and Takagi are passionate about being a mangaka duo.  No matter what shit life throws at them, no matter how hopeless their dream seems to be, they still get back on their feet and plunge head on in their journey towards being successful mangakas.  Since the beginning, they only have their eyes on one thing, and woe to those who try to stop them.  They are like bulls who ram straight ahead.  Even when they hit a wall, they continue on ramming until that wall breaks down so they could continue rushing forward towards their dream.

As a writer, Bakuman is a great resource in creating stories.  It takes into account the complexity of harmonizing the setting, characters, plot, and many other important elements to create an amazing story.  There are many times upon watching the anime that I felt inspired to craft stories.  And whenever I feel out of ideas, I just watch the series again.  It never fails to inspire me.

Although I say that Bakuman is an inspiration to writers and artists, I think that everyone can learn something from it.  Just as long as you have a dream of becoming something different, this series will inspire you to chase after that dream without worrying about how society will react.  It is your dream, your life, and you can do what you want with it.  Don’t be afraid of failures because you’ll certainly fail, much like Mashiro and Takagi repeatedly had their manga series cancelled due to declining popularity.  But did they give up?  No.  They used their failures to propel them into much greater heights, prompting them to create even more incredible manga.

Bakuman is truly one of the best inspirational series out there.  It motivates me to be more determined and focused on chasing after my dream, to be resilient during failures, and simply to be strong against life’s shits.  If you are currently on your life’s journey of chasing your dream, I highly recommend that you read the manga and/or watch the anime.  I guarantee that you’ll be inspired and motivated like nothing before.

Bakuman Anime at NHK (Japanese)

To You After 10 Years: Itano Tomomi’s Love Song



Rating: :D :D :D (3 out of 5 grins)
I’m not a fan of AKB48 at all.  It baffles me up until now how these huge group of girls got so ultra-famous.  Nevertheless, there are only 2 AKB48 members that I like:  Shinoda Mariko (篠田 麻里子) and Itano Tomomi (板野 友美).  Don’t ask me why.  I don’t even know why I like these two.

Juu-nen-go no Kimi e (10年後の君へ) is Itano Tomomi’s song that I like the most.  I think that both the lyrics and the melody are beautiful.  I don’t like the music video that much, but at least, you can see that it has a story.  It feels like a love letter being sung.  This song is rare from an AKB48 because it really connects with the listener.  Enjoy!

Uploaded by:  kingrecords

Itano Tomomi Official Website (Japanese)
Itano Tomomi Official Twitter Account
Itano Tomomi Official Facebook Fan Page
AKB48 Official Website (Japanese)

Dear Girl ~Stories~ 24: Ideas for DGS Manga

Title: プラモは面白いポーズにされる運命ですよ (Puramo wa omoshiroi poozu ni sareru unmei desu yo / The plastic model is destined to have an interesting pose)
View DGS Episode Guide
Rating: :D :D :D (3 out of 5 grins)
ATTENTION!!! Important Note: All the translations below are my own (by Arria Cross). All are labelled “rough translation”, as they did not undergo any professional proofreading and/or editing and may lack literal and/or grammatical accuracy.  I did my best, however, to convey the atmosphere and context of the conversations in this radio show.



This is the 24th episode of Kamiya Hiroshi (神谷浩史) and Ono Daisuke’s (小野大輔) radio show Dear Girl ~Stories~.  They immediately talk about last week’s “Durangelion”. They comment how Bunka Housou (lit. Culture Broadcasting:  the station where DGS is hosted) was horrible to have them go through it. Both of them say that the stinky durian smell is still vivid in their minds, especially Kamiya-san who says that his mouth couldn’t forget the stink that even when he drinks coffee, he feels like he’s still tasting the stinky durian. Then they conclude that durian is truly a “weapon”, where Kamiya-san says that it could be like a “bomb”.

Next is the Futsuu Sto Corner (Futsuu Story / Ordinary Story) where they read several letters from their listeners.  Here is the first letter:

Kaori-san (Listener Letter): HiroC-san, OnoD-san, good evening.
Ono: Good evening.
Kaori-san (Listener Letter): I have thought of various ideas for the manga that you’re going to write. How about something like having an animal partner?

Dear Girl ~Stories~: Hibiki Manga

Dear Girl ~Stories~: Hibiki Manga

Both of them think that this is a good idea, especially Kamiya-san. OnoD comments that he doesn’t want a cat. Everyone knows that Kamiya-san is a big cat lover. He has an adorable Russian Blue named Nyanko-sensei (taken from the cat character in the anime Natsume Yuujinchou). But surprisingly, he relented and says that if OnoD doesn’t want a cat, then they’ll have a dog in the manga instead. In the end, though, the DGS manga features cats (and lots of cats at that).

Ayumi-san (Listener Letter): Kamiya-san, OnoD, good evening.
Kamiya: Good evening.
Ayumi-san (Listener Letter): Congratulations on your decision to publish a manga.
Kamiya: Thank you very much!
Ono: (chuckles) She congratulates us on our PLAN.
Both: (laughs)
Ono: So we get congratulated even if we only have the IDEA.
Ayumi-san (Listener Letter): As I thought, a manga should have a villain, so how about using a character such as Sugita-san or Yuui-kyan (Nakamura Yuuichi) to lead an evil organization? In this way, how about making a drama CD with it, as well?
(a staff can be heard laughing in the background)
Ono: Hmmmm.
Kamiya: I understand why she wants Sugita-kun. He guested here before, right?
Ono: Yeah.
Kamiya: But Yasumoto-kun guested here, too, but why doesn’t his name come up, while Nakamura-kun who never guested here even once is mentioned over him?
Ono: They’re from the same agency, that’s why. (Sigma Seven is a talent management agency who handles seiyuu Yasumoto Hiroki and Nakamura Yuuichi)

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