So, summer break started for me about a week and a half ago. I've managed to avoid needing to take summer courses again. But I have not managed to get a summer job yet. =\ Trust me, I'm trying. >.> I have finished watching some anime series and also started watching some new ones. Overall though, I'm watching fewer anime series at once than previous summers (I'm watching 8 series right now). I'm really enjoying them, but ehh what can I say. Having a break from school is great and all, but it also gives me time to think about myself.
The impending thought of post-undergraduate life is always in the back of my mind, along with all the other life challenges that await. Grad school? Law school? Writing? Teaching? Getting a car? A house? Getting a wife? Raising children? Fulfilling my dreams and potentials (whatever those might be)? Lately though, I have thought a bit about my hobbies, and how much time I spend with them. Right now I have about 3 clear hobbies: anime, piano and video games. How would I maintain these hobbies if I really tried to get into grad school and became a professor? or if I started working full time? Or if I had a wife and kids? There's also the worry that I should be spending my time doing something more "productive" than spending time on my hobbies.
So now that the depressing part of this blog is out of the way, let's move on to some ANIME! *YEAH*
I just finished watching episode 130 of One Piece (okay maybe about half an hour ago now) and DAMMMN. Alabasta, Vivi, you will be missed. I almost wanted to cry... almost. Not that making-someone-want-to-cry was ever a measure of how good anything was, but again I am impressed by the writing and story of One Piece.
About a year ago I wrote a blog about watching One Piece from duty of being an anime fan and watching one of the "Big 3". You can read my full blog here. I had just started watching One Piece and was on episode 22. So, I did some quick calculations, and that means I have watched roughly 108 episodes of One Piece in a year. Which evens out to roughly 2 episodes a week. Which means, if I keep at this rate of 108 episodes a year, then in 4 years I will be on episode 562 (One Piece is currently at episode 546). But at that point, One Piece will be airing episode 754! (assuming 1 episode is released a week). *dizzy face*
Sometimes I look at screenshots of recently aired One Piece episodes and I think, "what the heck is that?" No seriously, why is Chopper wearing that goofy hat? Who's the dude with Popeye arms? What the heck's with these giant female snakes? If you're following One Piece, please don't answer those questions. I'm sure the series will let me know about it when it becomes relevant, and I'm sure it'll do a damn good job making me feel that it's relevant.
Right now I'm more interested in Nico Robin and where the Straw Hats are going to go now that they have left Alabasta.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors (GET HYPE): Also for those that don't know One Piece: Pirate Warriors for the PS3 has been released in Japan and it is quote "selling like hotcakes over there," (Crunchyroll). I can hardly believe that I am excited about a game based off of an anime. Games-based-off-anime usually fall into the same category of "games-based-off-movies", which are usually terrible. But I'm genuinely excited to see the Luffy and the gang in 3D! I hope it really delivers the same story punch as the anime.
Legal Streaming: One Piece is available to watch for free at Funimation.com. If you're thinking about checking out One Piece, don't be intimidated by the episode numbers. One Piece has a great sense of adventure and knows how to build up and tell it's story. Watch at your own pace and enjoy the world of One Piece.
"Sometimes jazz music takes an unexpected turn." Was a quote from this episode. And that's what makes playing jazz so much fun. You can screw up and still make the best of it (you still have to know what you're doing though). Since I play piano, this series story which already has amazing characters and soundtrack, has hit me in a big way. Only recently have I discovered how fun it is to improvise on the piano.
Kids on the Slope starts off with Kaoru, a male, a glasses-wearing, classical-piano-playing, high school transfer student from a rich family. He has trouble making friends, and it doesn't help that some of his classmates tease him for being rich. However he soon grows a crush for the female class rep, Ritsuko. Upon learning that Kaoru plays piano, Ritsuko introduces him to Sentaro. Sentaro has a reputation for getting into fights, but Ritsuko, who is Sentaro's childhood friend, assures Kaoru that Sentaro is okay. Soon enough his feelings for Ritsuko, and some other jazz-like incidences with him and Sentaro, lead Kaoru to start playing jazz piano. Yes.. I know that sounded very vague, but the anime speaks for itself, and I'd rather everyone watch it first hand.
There is some great plot development in this series, and it all feels very authentic. Maybe it's the jazz style of improv that makes it feel the way it does. At this point we have a variety of possible ways that various relationships could turn out. And I wouldn't be surprised if Kaoru never gets to go out with Ritsuko, but I guess that's jazz.
Legal Streaming: If you have not checked out Kids on the Slope yet, I highly recommend it to everyone to go check it out. You can watch full episodes with great quality and subs for free at crunchyroll.com. Here, just watch the trailer and tell me you're not sold! I DARE YOU, no just kidding, but seriously this anime is a real treat.
Yes I've been watching more anime than just these two, but I decided to just blog on the two above... FOR NOW *dramatic pose*. But, along with Kids on the Slope, I'm also watching and can recommend Space Brothers. It is also available on Crunchyroll. ;P
Thanks for reading, be sure to post any comments below. Anyone else excited for One Piece: Pirate Warriors, One Piece or Kids on the Slope? Finding it hard to manage your anime-watching habits? Maybe sometimes we just have to treat life like jazz, or an adventure, and give it our all.
All the best.