Friday, September 28, 2012

LIfe in Japan

Sorry that I haven't written anything in while, but it has been about a week since I arrived in Japan and I am still adjusting to the atmosphere here. First of all, it's really hot during the day! I mean, man! In Bulgaria it was so cold, that I thought that winter is coming and here is like in the middle of the summer. It's great that I have an air conditioner in my room. Otherwise I wouldn't have survived until now :D
Ever since I arrived at the airport everything has been new and so interesting to me! It's so much different from Bulgaria. Right now I am in Minoo, where I will be studying, which means that I am not in the big city. The Minoo campus of the Osaka university is a really great place, the only problem is that I have to walk about 15 minutes up the hill to get there. I usually don't mind walking, but it's really tiring, when it's hot and I get really sweaty and I don't feel really good about it.
The past week has been all about dealing with documents and getting orientations about the university life, the subjects and the program itself. We had a placement test and I have to say, I did quite well and this means that I can choose to study the subjects I like. So basically, this week was a rush. I had to go and register my address, I had to open a bank account, I had to buy a lot of things for my room (and now I have a money problem XD), I had to write a bunch of essays and complete some questioners, to go through a placement test and an interview and so on. Now you see why I haven't written anything up until now.
Actually I haven't moved much around the town. I have walked around to learn the surroundings like shops and so on, but I still haven't been to Osaka. I plan to go there on Sunday with the other Bulgarians, though. Everything here is so new and amazing that I really don't have to go much far to be astonished.
 At the Kansai Airport

Osaka streets

 My room
My room. I have a table now, but it still looks empty
My room
 View from my room

 View form my room
 View from my room

The entrance to Osaka University Minoo Campus

This is where I live

The road to the Campus
 CJLC, the building where I study
 Big spiders everywhere!

 The new Rurouni Kenshin manga - Rurouni Kenshin Kinema-ban
And of course Bulgarian yogurt and some chocolate

That's about it for now. Expect more soon :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Collection Update-N2

 This is a Black Rock Shooter paper craft figure, which I got as a parting gift from my friend Ivailo (referred to as Taho in previous posts), for my leaving to Japan. Too bad I won't be able to take her with me. Look at how awesome she is! She is 16 cm tall and she is made entirely of paper. I think that this is the biggest anime figure I have so far.
He will be uploading more paper craft figures in his gallery and if you are interested you may visit and follow him ->Ivailo's Gallery

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Aoi Bungaku

Ever since I started learning Japanese Studies in university, I've been really fond of Japanese literature and the more I read the more I grow to love it. I've read a couple of books by Haruki Murakami, some detective stories by Edogawa Rampo, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima, The Pillow Book by  Sei Shonagon, my favourite book by a Japanese writer - A Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka and many more. 
About two years ago I stumbled upon an anime called Aoi Bungaku (青い文学/Blue Literature). I found it interesting, but there were some things that I didn't quite understand at the time. I really like to compare anime, based on a book to the actual book, so I was eager to read all the stories from Aoi Bungaku, but at the time I couldn't find them. A few months ago I was staying at my fiance's grandparents' place and they were so nice as to tell me to have a look at their old library and to take the books I like. So I started searching the library for interesting books and I found a lot of books by Japanese authors and took them all, without much looking at what I'm taking. Later, when I was looking more closely at them I noticed that I had taken some really interesting things like a book with short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, which include Hell Screen (地獄変) and The Spider's Thread (蜘蛛の糸). Later a friend gave me Kokoro (こころ) by Natsume Souseki. And in the end I found a book by Dadzai Osamu, which includes the stories No longer Human (人間失格) and Run Melos (走れメロス) in a local bookstore.
So basically I was able to read all the stories from Aoi Bungaku, except for one, which I can't find - In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom (桜の森の満開の下) by Ango Sakaguchi.
I'm sure that most of you have heard of the anime and if you haven't read the actual books you should give them a try, because they are a lot different from the anime. The anime exaggerates a lot and shows the main characters in a different light.
For example in No Longer Human in the anime the main character pushes the woman from the cliff and then jumps after her as for in the book they jump together, trying to commit double suicide. In Run Melos and The Spider's Thread the anime producers have added a whole new storyline to the original one. In Run Melos it has nothing do with the original one, but I really like how they've merged them together. In The Spider's Thread the new story line serves to explain the actions of the main character and his personality. In Hell Screen in the anime the ruler of the city is the bad guy who like perverted things, as for in the original story the artist himself has a really twisted mind and even tortures his student in order to see in reality what he wants to draw. In Kokoro in the anime, they have omitted about 2/3 of the story and the anime shows only the end of the story. The first part of the book was actually kind of boring, because almost nothing happens, but I think that it's important, because it makes you wonder why the author is building up such suspense.
To be honest, I like the books more than the anime. They just explain the story and the characters' actions better and I really like how the Japanese authors write. If you've watched the anime and haven't read the books, I really recommend them to you. You might find them a little strange at the beginning, but they are very interesting. 
About the books, from which I read the stories (for Bulgarians only) - the book with short stories by Akutagawa Ryunosuke and Kokoro by Natsume Souseki are really old editions and I'm not sure if you can find them. You might try some of the bookstores fo used books and the libraries, of course. As for the book by Dadzai Osamu, it was published in 2011 by Altera and it can still be found in some bookstores. I bought mine in Plovdiv, because I couldn't find it in Sofia. All of them are translated from Japanese to Bulgarian and the translations are really good.
If someone knows where I can find and read  In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom (桜の森の満開の下) by Ango Sakaguchi, please tell me!
Comments are always welcome.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Flight to Japan

I received my ticket to Japan a few days ago. I will be leaving Bulgaria on the 19th of September and my flight is at 7:30 in the morning (Bulgarian time). I will be changing planes in Amsterdam, were I will have to wait for about five hours for the next flight and I am expected to arrive at Kansai Airport on the 20th of September at 8:20 in the morning (Japanese time). The duration of the whole trip is about 19 hours. I really hope that everything goes smoothly.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Aniventure 2012 - artwork and books

There was a lot of artwork and many artists on Aniventure 2012 and here are the ones who were most interesting for me:
The Artist's alley
At the Artist's alley I saw four of my favourite artists on deviantArt. Here are links to their galleries:
I bought a lot of stickers and bookmarks from them. They are ally awesome. Be sure to check them out.
 This is the book, where the winners of the Manga contest and the winner of the Fanfic contest were published.
First place of the Manga contest was taken by Kalin Popov and his story Endless Darkness (Безкрайна тъмнина). It was interesting to read, although there were some things that weren't very well explained. The artwork is not bad, but this guy definitely has some trouble shading and every panels looks kind of unfinished and reminded me more of a sketch. 
Second place was taken by Yana Lyapova and her story Graveyard Stories (Гробищни истории). Actually, this was the one I liked the most from the contest this year. The story is interesting and well told and her artwork is really cute. There are some panels that look kind of unfinished, but as a whole it's really well made. 
Third place was taken by Alexandra Stryaskova and her story Little London Witch. The artworks is pretty average and the story is cliche and I think that she might have had some trouble with the scanning, because the pages of the manga look weird. To see more of her artwork you can visit her gallery -
The award of the Fanfic contest was given to Nadejda Ivanova Georgieva and her story Dreams and Reality (Мечти и реалност), which is based on Naruto. I am not a Naruto fan, but I really loved this fanfic, because it's so different and well written. 
In this book you can also find artwork by the following artists:
The white haired female mascot on the cover of the book was drawn by
 Co-Mixer is a very interesting project, that features Bulgarian comics, which i really liked. It has only two issues for now and every issue consists of a number of comics on a certain theme, for example the theme for number two is second hand.
For more information on the artists and Co-Mixer itself, please visit their blog -
Bulgaria Cosplay Book was created by Lyubena Fox and Georgi Teofilov. It features five Bulgarian cosplayers:
Lybena Fox as Megurine Luka  from Vocaloid and Inori Yuzuriha from Guilty Crown
Irina Tsapreva as Hatsune Miku from Vocaloid
Alexander Hawkins as Akira from Togainu no Chi and Zero Kiryu from Vampire Knight
Ayame Midori as Ling Xiaoyu from Tekken
Kalina Marinova as Tira from Soul Calibur
I hope they make more like this with more pages and more cosplayers in the future, because even though this one is well made, its too short.
You can find some of the pictures, which were in the book in Lubena Fox's gallery -
For more information about Aniventure you can visit the following web pages:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Aniventure 2012 Day 2

Ok, so as I said in my previous post, the main event of the second day of Aniventure is cosplay. And this year all of the cosplayers were really great. The ones I really liked are - The Lord of the Rings group, Hizaki from Versailles, Miku, Pyramid Head, Inori and Shuu from Guilty Crown, Vash the Stampede (I've wanted to see a Vash cosplay for years and this came as a really pleasant surprise for me), but the ones I liked most of all were Loki and Lady Loki. In my opinion they were the best. 
The only thing that kinda ruined my experience and left me with an unpleasant feeling was the constant screaming of the people who were sitting in front of us and behind us, who really wanted to offend some of the cosplayers. They were really loud and annoying. One of my friends even constantly covered her years, because of that. And my conclusion of all that was that even though the event progresses and becomes better and better with every year, the audience still hasn't learned how to behave. 
So after the review of the cosplayers there were three scenes, played on the stage by three groups of people - Naruto, a mash up of gender bender Avengers and some anime characters like Luffy from One Piece (who was also a woman), Rin from Ao no Exorcist and many others, and the last one was the group of Lord of the Rings. All of them were really funny and everyone was in character, which was awesome! The one I liked the most was Naruto.
There were also many many cosplayers in audience and when I was walking from hall to hall I felt like I was in another world and it was really great. 
And here is a list of the winners:
Chosen by the jury:
- Best costume - Hizaki
- Same as original - Loki
- Best of show - Vash
Chosen by the audience:
- Best costume - Loki
- Same as original - Loki
- Best of show - Miku
Award for
requisite - Pyramid Head
Going to EuroCosplay - Pyramid head
Best game cosplay:
1st place - Bayonetta
2nd place - Zero
3rd place - Glados

Best scene - Naruto
As you can see Loki won a lot of things and I really wished that lady Loki had won something too, because she was amazing.
I am really sorry that I didn't take more pictures, but I was too busy watching :D
Me with the two Lokis
Suzuki and Sebastian

I will finish this post with a link to a channel where you can see videos from the cosplay -
I plan to do at least one more post about Aniventure 2012, because there are more things I want to say, especially about the artwork, so check in a day or two, if you're interested.
Comments are always welcome :)