Topical Tuesday: Manga I Love

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s time for another Topical Tuesday- and today, I have a pretty broad topic to discuss: Manga.

I was stuck on a topic you see, and a friend recommended I talk about my favorite genre- but the thing is, I read manga 99% of the time nowadays, and I have a very eclectic range with it on things I enjoy. While I can never seem to enjoy a science fiction novel, science fiction in manga is regularly enjoyable for me. I read horror manga to fight my anxiety and get mentally stronger. There’s just no end to what manga does for me!

Of course, even I have certain genres that draw me to them when it comes to manga. I have a hard time enjoying sports ones, for example. And there’s a lot of those out there! A sports manga can be great, but it gets boring seeing the drama and not really learning about the sport that much. And I’ve seen that issue a lot in sports manga.

For me, my favorite genres are probably a mix of horror, supernatural in general, romance manga, and good ol’ slapstick comedies. Since there’s a lot of sub-genres and even a lot of crossover with these genres, I’m going to talk about each of them just a bit, just to give you an idea of my mind and what I notice.

First off, horror. I don’t like ALL horror, by any means. I tried reading Corpse Party but something about it just kinda… Didn’t work with me. It’s not necessarily the gore in it- I’ve read plenty of others with gore and creepy stuff. I just didn’t handle it well.

For me, I tend to spend a lot of time looking for and reading ‘play or die’ manga as I call them. They’re also known as “High stakes”. These manga tend to be about some form of a ‘game’ where if you lose, you die. Not all of them are actually games, mind you- but they’re close enough. My absolute favorite of this genre is the lucrative Alive: The Final Evolution by Tadashi Kawashima. Other good ‘play or die’ stories include Dolls Code by Runamu Kinashi, High Rise Invasion by Tsuina Miura, and the renowned King’s Game by Nobuaki Kanazawa (though to be honest, King’s Game: Origins was way better in my opinion).

I like other manga that have horror in them too. I especially like psychological horror that really surprises you time and time again, such as Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora. The title alone threw me off- I didn’t expect it to be horrific as much as it was. Another really good one that’s more standard horror is the Ghost Hunt series by Fuyumi Ono. It’s a great mix of ghost and ghoul hunting with psychic power and scientific reasoning.

Now that I’ve finished sharing so many horror stories I’ve read, let’s talk about the light-hearted shoujo and comedy manga that I adore reading after a particularly scary horror story. There’s plenty of subcategories and mixtures when it comes to comedy manga as a whole. One example is the manga Yandere Kanojo by Shinobi, a somewhat cliche story about a delinquent and an ace student falling in love. The gags in this one are just far too humorous and regular. I’ve read it probably five times already. It’s a good read if you need a dumb joke to lighten your mood. Another good comedy is Kaeru no Ossan by Zenyuu Shimabukuro. It’s far from any normal manga I’ve ever read. I mean, I’ve heard of half human creatures, but never a human body with a frog head.

Swerving away from the horror and hysterical, I’d also like to talk about some romance manga that swerve off the beaten path in ways you might think they fit the previous categories. Chimoguri Ringo to Kingyobachi Otoko by Abe Youichi is a supernatural romance- that all starts when the hero’s sister is turned into a goldfish by the mysterious fishbowl man. Is it weird enough yet? Let’s say it is, because I could talk about it for an hour trying to explain the insanity.

A less insane fantasy romance is Akagami no Shirayuki-hime by Sorata Akizuki. This is a typical forbidden romance of sorts, as it relates the tale of a woman of lesser standing and a prince. It’s a very complex manga, and at times it’s hard to keep up, but the characters are well played out and overall, I just really enjoyed the series. Seeking a more comedic love story? The Devil is a Part Timer is a great story that starts with the concept of rebirth, and ends with the idea that the Devil isn’t as bad as he’s cracked up to be.

I think I’ve rambled on enough- you clearly get my point. While I read a great variety, I still have certain types in the genre that I pay heed to. For me, getting out of my comfort zone is hard, because I sometimes don’t recognize what it is.

Do you have a genre you recommend, or a book in the genres I listed? I’d love to hear about them from you! I’m always up to hearing your recommendations! Who knows? It might just end up in my next Topical Tuesday! Please never hesitate to comment- whether it’s in response to something I said, or an idea you’d like me to explore in another blog post. That’s all I have to request… and thank you for reading my manga mayhem!

Soulful Saturdays: Why I Write

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first “Soulful Saturday” post, where I’ll be getting into the nitty gritty of my life, my writing, and how they often mesh together to create music no one necessarily wanted to hear, but I feel is needed to be heard. It generally won’t be specific to the part of my life I’m in- but right now, it will be… Because today, I’m going to share one of the things I love most about writing: treating my characters like absolute crap.

If you’re a writer, you probably know as well as I do the satisfaction that can come from making a character go through torment of some kind and even more so when they figure out a way through it. But, whether you’re a reader or not, that feeling can be caused by more than just the fun of literature itself- it can be quite personal. After all, the best way to make a story relatable is, well… Relate to it.

I’ve gone through plenty of pain in my life. Most of us have at least some pain, whether physically or mentally, don’t we? I started writing as soon as I learned to read, pretty much, and many times it was to fight the pain that came from early life’s difficulties.

By the age of eight my parents were separating- not that it changed my life that much, since my mother wasn’t a very motherly person. Still, it was her neglect I’d grown up with, and she was my mother. As a little girl, I thought it was normal for her to be that way… Then she just up and disappeared. Two years later, I was in a car crash with my dad. Dad needed surgery for his spinal damage (we’d been hit a few times in my life by then)… So we moved in with his parents, where there was constant turmoil and fighting.

By the age of ten, I basically lived on the computer to survive emotionally. Sure, I was in therapy, but that only did so much for a prepubescent who had trust issues as it was. Online, I felt safer than I did at home with all the noise and drama. But just chatting wasn’t enough. I needed something more substantial to deal with the stress.

And that, friends, is when I started writing. I wrote stories about children leaving their mothers to deal with losing my own mother to distance. I wrote a poem about how my house was like a war zone to me, and the way each family member made me think of the world as violent.

That’s also what lead to my first comic, I think- because honestly, I’d had the idea for it long before I could make it. I’d written it probably a dozen times in novel form, only to restart it and dare myself to go darker. With every story I write, every character I make, I’m making a part of me that I otherwise struggle to accept on its own. Of course, the stories aren’t solely based on me- but there are moments, just moments, where the things I struggle with come to light… And get dealt with in a way I wouldn’t imagine without my character’s aid.

To this day I continue to write with that as a reason in the back of my mind. I’ve also just grown to love my characters and words as a whole- and that’s why, right now, I’m writing this. Because this is a case of ‘a means to an end’. I was lead to writing by the strife in my life- and thanks to that, I’m here now, hopefully showing someone out there a new way to deal with their own pain… By writing through it as well.

Throwback Thursday: Nostalgic Video Games

While I know this is my writing blog, I also know it’s foolish not to write about myself as a person sometimes as well. And that’s what these Throwback Thursday posts will be for: to get to know me a bit better, and look back on my life as I’ve lived it so far.

Today’s topic? My history with video games.

Video games are a great place to get ideas in writing, and I still play them plenty, but my gaming isn’t nearly as intense as it was when I was young. I had started playing video games often at a friend or relative’s house: my cousins, for example, or the regular Super Smash Bros competition held at my neighbor’s condo in elementary school. Of course, I had my own gaming systems as I got older. It started with Sega, and moved on to Nintendo… Well, you get the drift of things, right? I evolved into various types of gaming.

As I was decluttering recently, I found two old games that were two of my favorites of all time as well. I’ve had three or four cartridges of Pokemon Crystal, and I’m not sure which one I found- it could be one of the defective ones if I forgot to throw them out, or if it’s a working version. Here’s a rundown of my history with it.

The first one I lost as a child.
The second one I lost during a move.
The third one kept eating my saves as I started them.
The fourth worked like a charm, and was my prized possession for a long while.

The other game we found didn’t have that same sort of history, but it’s dear to me nonetheless. The game was Car Battler Joe- a game I played through time after time without getting bored. And, to most people’s surprise, the game is just as the name implies: it’s battling with decked out cars. Well, that’s just part of it though. It’s actually an RPG, I think. It’s just an RPG with a lot of racing the clock and trying to avoid getting shot at… And a storyline that made me cry.

It’s times like this, while thinking fondly of these games, that I think of my other most treasured games that I still hold dear. I never did manage to beat Evolution Worlds- it wasn’t quite what I wanted, but I couldn’t stop trying nonetheless. It would’ve been better if I’d been able to get a dreamcast and the two versions that were molded into the one I had for GameCube, that’s for sure.

The other game that comes to mind… well it’s two, actually. Harvest Moon as a franchise is dear to my heart. My first one, thus one of the most special, was A Wonderful Life. It wasn’t the best, but it was amazing to elementary school me. Then I got hold of Magical Melody, which had a very different style of both gameplay and graphics. It was so chibi and cute! I wish I could pinch the characters’ cheeks. To be fair, I feel that way about Linear from Evolution Worlds too… Why were games so especially cute back then, anyway?

To this day, I play games on a regular basis. Right now, I’m mostly playing Stardew Valley and a rather random game called 100% Orange Juice. One is a farming sim right up my alley, and the other is… Think Mario Party on a sugar high.

What were your favorite games growing up? Tell me in the comments- I’d love to learn about you too, you know!

Topical Tuesday: Starting Fresh

Hihi! Thank you for returning (or visiting, if it’s your first time here) to my blog.

Now, for those of you that don’t know me, I have many things I’m known for. One of those things is restarting a project no matter how much progress I had because I know there’s a way better way I could be doing things. This “Topical Tuesday”, I’ll be focusing a little bit about my recent work on rebooting some old projects. We’ll mostly be focusing on ‘how?’ and ‘why?’.

Let’s start with my main reboot, Alien Irony: Redux. Alien Irony was my first comic, and it’s always been a very personal project. The heroine is based on the first character I ever made for myself when I was just a little girl, and a lot of my life problems and misconceptions play a crucial part in building the story. This time, my goal is to make the comic good enough to sell- but also just to fill in all the plot holes, inconsistencies and other such things from the original. For more information about the project as a whole, feel free to look at my Alien Irony: Redux Blog.

The way I’m going about rebooting it is simple. For starters, I’ve been writing a script for it, to have more consistency and a better flow than the original had. Scenes got moved around, added and just generally improved upon. Characters are getting more fleshed out, I find, and I’m learning more of the plot holes that I’ll need to tackle as I write the script. It’s amazing what a different medium can teach you about your story!

The other reboots I’ve taken on are simple ones just for fun. I’ve restarted my Comic Diary, which you can see on my DeviantART, along with my recreation of my shoujo ai comedy that I never really got far with, Our Days in Cooking Club. Now, ODiCC failed for a lot of reasons, but it was mostly because I was thinking too hard on it. ODiCC is meant to be silly, carefree, and pretty random. So, I’m mostly writing it when I’m in the mood to just fool around with ComiPo. It’s a simple but fun project now… And it helps that I love my characters’ designs even more thanks to a friend making me some awesome hairdos for them!

See? Aren’t they just lovely and interesting? Another thing that makes this a simple and fun topic is the characters- there aren’t too many you’ll actually see, unlike in Alien Irony- that gives time for more gags and goofiness, since I won’t be introducing extra characters all too often.

So, if this was too long and you couldn’t read it, here’s the point: sometimes, a remake is inevitable. It can be for your sanity or for your story- it’s okay, sometimes, to throw out the old draft and restart. Just don’t do it as often as I do… Because you’ll never finish anything. Some things are fine the way they are. Find a balance, and you’ll be fine.

That’s all for now! Bye bye~!

Revamping

I’ve been gone a long while and found my site covered in dust. But dust will be no more! I have returned, and am going to be cleaning up this site, organizing things, and making it more streamlined. So, over the next few days, you’ll see a lot of changes.

I’ve taken down a couple pages because I need to do heavy work on them and/or am debating keeping them. I’ve made some new graphics, such as the header, and I’ve made myself a schedule for posting. The schedule will be as follows:

TUESDAY: ‘Topical Tuesdays” will be all about my writing and life in a light-hearted way. It won’t get too deep into the darker things that happen day to day, and will hopefully have some feel good stories to share.

THURSDAYS: “Throwback Thursdays” will have me sharing my memories, old works, and things of that nature. It’ll be a look into my past, and have me wishing for a better future.

SATURDAYS: “Soul Saturdays” will be a deep dive into my writing and life, looking at the raw and sometimes dark parts of my mind. I’ll be talking mental health, coping skills, how the darker things affect my writing, etc. I’ll make sure to include trigger warnings at the top of any posts these days, just to be safe.

Along with this schedule, I’ll be editing the Sites To See page to be cleaner and more recent links only. I’ll also be debating continuing to have an excerpt page or one for my works in progress.

Have an opinion? Comment and tell me what you think!

Use Your Pain Wisely

The past few days, I’ve been hating moving my mouth and eating more than usual due to severe pain. My wisdom tooth (well, one of them) has been acting up, and after a while, my jaw joined it. It’s a real fun pain fest, I’ll tell you that! </sarcasm>

However, pain can be helpful in the creative process. Today, to spite this normal but painful issue, I posted a prompt on Twitter:

(Random shootout to those in the image~)

Pain can be a horrifying setback, but you can use it to your advantage when your muse feels dry. I find some of my best poetry has been from letting my pain onto paper, and it can be great incentive for writing aggressive moments to torture challenge your characters and help them grow! Even if you don’t give them the same pain in a story, you can think of how they’d react to it compared to you for personal character development, or just use your frustration to give them a situation you were already planning to make them struggle with.

Whatever way you choose, remember: writing is more than an art, it’s a lifestyle (and an outlet)! Use your experiences, pain included, to your advantage!

Even Without A Computer, You Can Write!

I don’t have a working computer yet, but I’m using my time without it to write still. I find it hard to type on my tablet, if I’m being honest- something I basically always am- but even if I have to fight with autocorrect regularly, I won’t just stop writing! There’s lots I can do thanks to apps…and many are free!Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite apps I use when I write, along with some little tricks for using apps not even FOR writing for writing purposes. Please feel free to share your own tips, app preferences and more in the comments!

APPS MEANT FOR WRITING AND WRITERS

  • Lore Forge Creator Resources – This app has all sorts of generators in it that you can use offline, from names of places and characters to motives and jobs! Names and jobs have options of modern and fantasy, and places include street names, pubs and more!
  • World Scribe – A great way of planning worlds, World Scribe is a simple app with the ability to put basic information of places, people and organizations in your world. You can also link them, include pictures of them, add snippets about them, and it’s really easy to use!  
  • Character Planner – World Scribe is more for simplistic planning, but if you want to go into more details, Character Planner is a a great free way to go in depth for all your characters, and places too! It separates information you can input for each place, character, etc. with prompted information, but you don’t have to answer everything. If you leave a piece blank, it won’t show up in the view of the character sheet when you finish edit mode, and while it includes all sorts of questions for appearance, personality, life, story involvement, relationships and more, you can easily add custom information too! With places, you get prompts for everything from the government and religions to ecology. For when you want to go really in depth, this is a must have to me.

APPS YOU CAN USE FOR WRITING EVEN IF NOT MEANT FOR IT

  • MediBang Colors – Although this app is essentially a free mass coloring book, the varieties of line-art and mix of coloring tools makes it great for concept pictures! You can either use line-art from the library included and other people, or you can add some of your own. With bucket, pen, gradient and more, you can easily color the line-art you feel fits a character to be like them for concepts! Here’s one of my recent results as an example. 
  • This is a side character for Alien Irony. My coloring isn’t as awesome as stuff others share in the MediBang community though. Just browsing is fun sometimes!

  • Creative Games?! – A lot of games include customization in some way, and even if it’s a simple farm game, you can try to play it as if what you do is in perspective of a character and how they would! One company I like the games from is Kairosoft. It’s all simple and retro designs, but I like customizing whatever I’m making in the game like a character would. I also like making replicas of sorts (at least basic construction/layouts) of character’s houses in Minecraft. I admit most of these aren’t free, sadly, but…

FOR INSPIRATION’S SAKE

  • RPGs – Though my favorite games are from Kemco (I splurge on them a lot when there’s a sale on the play store), RPGs in general are known for their complex storylines and characters, making them great for inspiration. A really creative game I found recently, Light Apprentice, mixes RPG elements and comic books insanely well, and you can play the first chapter free, and incredibly moving!
  • Manga Reader – If you like manga online, you should love this app. You can read online through it’s easy reader from at least seven different manga sites, from MangaFox to MangaHere and more, and it’s a lot like having an online manga library card on your device! You can also download chapters for later, meaning even without internet you can enjoy your favorite scams. It’s search can be by title, author or genre, and if you enjoy a manga you can both add it to your favorites (which doubles as the home screen of it), press “related” for other works from the author and similar stories, and it always saves your place as long as you read the scan consistently on one source. Did your source flake? You don’t have to go from the start- choose what chapter you were on on another site with it and it’ll save your progress there as well. If you add both to your favorites, it’ll appear as two separate entries though.

    There’s likely many more I haven’t discovered yet, but these are ones I had almost daily, so I wanted to share. If you share your favorites I might just try them and add them to this list! Next time I’ll share ways to use social media for fuel too. That’s all for now though. From my tablet…I wish your stories forever flow and grow!

    More Problems… Continued

    Update: my constant computer crashes now have a known cause…my HDD is fried! Well that or the part that reads it…anyway, dad did heavy duty diagnostics to find that out. We think it’s the controller for the HDD because we tried putting in my backup drive and it found nothing on it either…

    Likelihood is I will be without a computer until either dad fixes up one of the other dead systems in the house, finds a way around this controller bug, or I break down and buy the cheapest but most useful one I can find. If anyone has a laptop they could donate, I’d totally love to beg for it! I kid…mostly.

    What does this mean for my blog though?

    Well…

    1. The 101 Challenge is on hold infinitely until I have a computer.
    2. My posts will be scarcer.
    3. I’ll still be writing and such! Just mostly outline work, maybe some art, etc.

    My time will be spent mostly fighting tech, playing games, outlining to the max, etc. I’ll share more as I think of it. For now…off to replay Journey to Kreisia to try to find another ending. Normal ending was too depressing!

    More Problems…

    Within a couple days, my computer and glasses have broken. My computer won’t work right even in safe mode, so dad’s working diligently when he’s able to help me with it (he was in the business way back. Convenient, like having my own free tech support at home!)

    One of the nose guards on my glasses snapped off too. It’s temporarily fixed by replacing it with duct tape. Not the most comfortable, but I can generally see!

    Our car still needs to go to the shop. Hopefully, now that three things broke, they’ll be getting fixed more easily soon! Still, with my computer how it is and chaos all around, 

    Lethologica [Part 1]

    According to the dictionary, lethologica is “the inability to remember a particular word or name”. Whether you’re writing a story or talking to a friend, it’s a fairly common occurrence, isn’t it? You know you know the word, it’s at the top of your tongue, but your brain just blocks it out.

    When I first read the word, I really thought it would have to do with death and logic. I mean, letho looks to me like lethal, and logic is literally in the end half of the word! But if I think hard about it, forgetting a word yet feeling like it’s on the tip of your tongue? It really sounds like the death of logic!

    It feels like my computer has a case of it too, because it hasn’t been running properly the past couple days. As I find it hard to type good posts on my tablet (mixing autocorrect and laziness and awkward typing methods isn’t an easy feat, after all), this will be a two parter: the basics today, and a more detailed thought on this new term plus challenge when the computer lots to listen to me again!

    Sorry for this, guys. I hope you take your time to keep an eye out for lethologica in your own lives! Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts with me here!