Special! Beijing’s Picks: Best RWBY Moments

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THE HYPE IS REAL GUYS!!!

Holy mother of cherry I’m so ready for RWBY V5.  If yesterday’s trailer wasn’t enough to beyond hyped for V5 then I don’t know what will.

Honestly, I could probably go on forever about all that I am looking forward to in V5 (the animation, YANG, Weiss leaving home, OSCAR, the stakes, BLAKE’S EARS MOVE, and lol, Sun’s abs disappeared again).  However, despite the excitement for new things to come, it is always important to remember the old things that passed.  And so, we have been brought to where we are now.  In an effort to pay homage to RWBY, I have complied a short list of my favorite scenes from each Volume of RWBY.

This was an exceedingly difficult list to compile.  There are so many beautifully amazing scenes in RWBY and it is so difficult to pick just one from each Volume.  However, as much as it hurt my soul to do, I did pick only one from each.  Additionally, I somewhat wanted to put the rest as honorable mentions, however, then the list would become too long.  Perhaps I’ll make a separate list for those one day, but now is not the time for that.

Now, before we begin, I just have to say that this is all based on my own opinion and is heavily biased for obvious reasons.  These really are just my personal favorites and I am in no way saying that they are the “official best moments ever!111!1”.  Please feel free to disagree with me, and hey, if you do, why don’t you tell me about it in the comments?  Now, without any further delay, I present to you, The Best Moments from RWBY (in my opinion)!

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Volume 1: Blake is a Faunus!?

Blake Kitty

Do I even need to explain why this moment was amazing?

Honestly, we all know why this was a great moment.  All of Blake’s amazing character development started from here.

In an instant, the mysterious and cold character we once knew vanished, and was suddenly replaced with a warm and relatable young woman.

The Blake we know and love now (the one who is fragile and somewhat broken, the one that is afraid, the one that puts up walls to protect herself) was born in this scene.

Volume 2: Why are we doing this?

baseline established

This is definitely not one of the most memorable or intense or even fun scenes in V2, but it is definitely one of the most important.

Does anyone remember what happened here?  Because in all honesty, I somewhat forgot about this scene myself.  Now, you’re probably wondering “but wait, if you forgot about this scene then why do you consider it the best one in ALL of V2?”  And that is a completely fair question to ask.  After all, there were some pretty amazing fight scenes in V2.  However, as amazing as the fight scenes were to watch, and believe me I know, I really do think that this simple talking scene between the main girls is one of the most important scenes in this Volume.

Here, we get a clear-cut insight into each of these wonderful women’s minds where they answer, at least what I believe to be, the most important question there is.  Why?  Why are they doing all of this?  Why are they risking their lives?  What is worth fighting for so much that they are willing to put their life on the line for it?

With each answer a baseline is set.  This is where the character development starts.  Clean, clear, and simple.  Everything that happens from here on out is built upon the answers that these young women give.  And even if we don’t exactly remember this scene frame by frame, the thought of it always lingers in the back of our minds as we watch these characters shift and grow.

Volume 3: Penny’s Death

Penny NUUU T^T

I can feel my heart clenching just thinking about this…

Penny’s death was hard-hitting for everyone.  Here was this sweet, innocent little girl who just wanted to have friends.  She didn’t deserve it.  Yet, it happened.  And not only did it happen, but it was done at the hands of a scared and beloved girl who also, only wanted to have friends.

Yes, other dark scenes may have been more hard-hitting, however, this was the first cut.  And honestly the most shocking.

Up until this point, everything has been fine.  Yes, we knew that the stakes were high, that there were some shady things going on behind the scenes, and that the prospect of death always lingered in the back of our minds.  However, this is when that prospect turned into a reality.

In an instant the entire tone of RWBY shifted.  It was no longer a fun, lively show about these young women who were going to some fighting academy.  At this moment we, and the characters, were suddenly faced with the cruel reality.  This isn’t a game.

Volume 4: The White Knight

Weiss is badass

This is in itself is hella amazing.  The fact that symbolism is also a huge part of it is just a bonus.

As you may already know, the “knight” (hybrid Grimm thing) was a test that Weiss’s father set up for Weiss.  If she could defeat it, she could go to Beacon Academy as she wished, if not, then she would stay in Atlas.

In many ways, Weiss defeating the “knight” was an act of defiance against on Weiss’s part against her father.  However, even though she surpassed this test of his, she was still being controlled by him.  She won, but the test was still on her father’s terms.  She ultimately was still playing her father’s game.

However, now with this scene, Weiss has mastered her semblance, and has brought back the thing that was once sent to end her, but instead, it now stands by her side.  Here, Weiss has fully escaped from her father’s control and as the broken window suggests, is now free of the cage she was held in.  She no longer plays by the rules of her father’s game.

Weiss has both physically shattered the cage she has been held in, and while also metaphorically shattering the rules by which her father forced her to play by.

Do we need any other reason to call Weiss best girl?

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And that’s a wrap!  Well looks like I found where the missing list item from last week went.

I really, really hope that you enjoyed this special edition of Beijing’s Picks and are now even more hyped for V5!

RWBY has really been one hell of a rollercoaster ride and with the direction Rooster Teeth seems to be going now it seems that we will be in for even more amazing ups and downs.

Thank you all for reading and let’s have a great V5!

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Tea Party Talks: Why Halloween is The Best Holiday

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine….

Well…. maybe not always but it did quickly grow on me in recent years and has become one of my favorite holidays.

To some, this may come as a surprise being that I absolutely despise anything scary. I have never watched a horror movie ever and I never ever plan to watch one. Just the trailers for them on YouTube are enough to send me running for the hills. Heck, I still think that Disney “The Princess and the Frog” animated movie is scary. In short, I’m just a big scaredy kitty.

However, none of that spoopy stuff is enough to scare me away from this awesome holiday! After all, there are so many other things to enjoy besides scary, axe wielding maniacs! And here, I’ll tell you all about some of my favorite Halloween festivities in hopes to convince some of my fellow scaredy kitties on why this holiday can be enjoyed by all!

That being said, I will be approaching this is a way that will keep in the theme of the rest of this blog.  Therefore!  I will not be including any of those normal Halloween things such as pumpykin picking or carving.  Instead, I shall be presenting more of the little details that I have found and personally enjoy a lot, or, if they are a more common thing, then I will tie it into a personal theme of mine and connect it to J-Fashion/Alternative Fashion or anime culture in one way or another.  Oh!  And surprise, surprise, all of these things have somehow ended up being fashion related.  I wonder how that happened.  Hmm…

Haha, well, anyway, I hope you enjoy my rather obscure list of the reasons why I personally find Halloween to be one of the best holidays ever!

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1) Dressing up is Fun!

rilakkumakigurumifront__51792.1431617531.1280.1280No matter how old you are, you have to admit, having a socially acceptable day (though, with the way I dress this doesn’t exactly apply) to play dress up is amazing.

Whether you are in it for the nostalgia of playing dress up as a kid or the fun of getting together with a group of friends to do a group costume, there is loads of fun to be had when it comes to dressing up on Halloween.

Another cool thing that I find with dressing up for Halloween is that it can allow people who are into alternative fashion (goth, lolita, fairy kei, punk, ect.), but have never had the courage to make the leap and wear it on the daily, a chance to have a “safe day” to try out the fashion and perhaps introduce others to it.  This does of course come with some negative things, such as it implying that this fashion style is a costume.  The answer to whether this is true or not will vary from person to person, however, I personally believe that while it can be read this way, I think that it’s better that people can be offered a day where they can express themselves in a way that makes them feel safe and comfortable rather than they be driven away from the fashion entirely in fear of what others will think.  Of course, I do think it is wrong for people to wear these fashions on Halloween just to make fun of those who wear it on the daily, but that is a completely different thing.  To me, everything ultimately boils down to reasoning. If you want to wear lolita or some other fashion on Halloween because it makes you feel comfortable and safe, then that is all that matters.  At the end of the day, all that matters is that you feel good about yourself.

Whoo!  Ok, that was a lot.  But hey, all this talk about alt fashion serves as a great transition into my next point!

2) Mainstream Department and Clothing Stores Cool Clothes and Alt Fashion!

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I don’t care what anyone says.  Department stores are cool.

In case you didn’t know, I am a very, very small person (I’m just a little taller than 4’10”).  As much as I complain about this, there are several benefits to being this height.  One of them being that I can shop in the children’s section of stores as well as some stores specifically meant for children.  I find these places to be the ultimate jackpot for weird, kitschy, and even some alt fashion clothes.  For example, I went to Target the other day and found this really weirdly cute, tulle slime skirt (shown above).  It perfectly matches a lot of my Halloween socks and does a great job of incorporating more green into my outfits.

Now, I know what you are probably thinking, “but I’m a normal sized person who doesn’t fit into kids clothes”.  Never fear!  For there are cutely tacky stuff to be found for you too!  Just check out this cool sweater from Walmart!

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I sadly do not own this awesome sweater (because I live on an island and the Walmart here does not have these in stock), but it does just go to show you that tacky things like this can be found for everyone!

But hey, even if you aren’t into this kind of weird stuff but still into alt fashion, you can still find something for you!  You can find lots of cheap knee-high socks in the Halloween section of Target or Walmart.  Given, they do look pretty costume-y and only come in basic colors (white, black, ect.), but beggars can’t be choosers, right?  And even still, a little altering (snipping off the bad lace, bow, ect.) can go a long way!

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Aaaaand that’s a wrap!  Short list today.

It’s not a picks so I can get away with it!  Haha!

Anyhow, I do hope you enjoyed this list and I hope it has inspired you to get more into the Halloween spirit this year, or, at the very least, get you thinking about visiting your nearest department store soon, hehe.

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Beijing’s Picks: Lolita Dream Dress Edition

Prints like these are what keep me from declaring myself a sweet lolita.

I mean, yes, I am completely all for sweet, candy prints, and yes, I do like my bright, bubble gum pinks.  But still, I cannot resist the mysterious and spoopy allure of gothic prints.

However, I digress, the topic on what my fashion identity is must wait for another post, (possibly the next one?  Wink wonk) for today, I bring you yet another Beijing’s Picks!  As you already know, today’s topic is dream dresses.

If you are a member of the lolita, or possibly any other J-Fashion, community, then you are probably familiar with the term.  But, for you little buns that just so happened to stumble into here, a dream dress is a term used by lolitas to describe a dress that is high up on their wish list.  It can be compared to a car collector having a particular brand or style of car that they have their eye on and is saving up for.  Or it can be likened to an avid anime fan searching the internet for a particular figurine.  Really, it can be applied to anyone with a passion for something.

Here, I have compiled a small list of my top three dream dresses.  Well, sort of.  What do I mean by that?  Well, like many lolitas, or people into fashion in general, I have certain preferences on prints, styles, motifs, and colors.  I personally have a soft spot for any of Angelic Pretty’s “wonder” prints (ie. Wonder Party, Wonder Queen, Wonder Memories, ect.) or any dress with Alice in Wonderland motifs.  This, of course, is only natural.  However, it would be rather boring to read a favorites list where all the items were the same.  So, I created a short list of rules for myself to follow when compiling this list.

  1. The prints must all have different motifs (for example, two dresses with a cookie print is a no-no)
  2. I cannot own the print in question (I only own one brand JSK(jumperskirt) anyway so this is not difficult.  (I am just a lil’ baby sorry >~<))
  3. Only dresses (JSKs and OPs(one pieces)) are allowed. (This is because I am way too obsessed with jackets, coats, and capes…)

And that’s all the rules!  Real simple right?  Great!  Now that we’ve established all that, we can finally begin!

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3) Secret Hospital for Dolls in Black by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

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As I have already stated in the introduction to this blog post, prints like these are what keep me from going full sweet.

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine.  Despite never watching a horror movie in my life, and having no desire to ever watch one, I still absolutely adore the creepy-cute things that come out in mainstream stores (Macy’s, Target, Walmart, ect.) during that specially spoopy time of the year.  I adore everything from the little black cats to the slightly disturbing creepiness of porcelain dolls.  And this new JSK by BTSSB perfectly reflects that.

The eeriness of the deathly pale dolls set against the spoopy cityscape of the ideal “Halloweentown” perfectly contrasts the cute ruffles and curls adorning the dolls.  With a simple style and shape, this JSK does an excellent job at putting the focus on the beautiful print.  Such a dress is truly a work of art.

2) Cherry Berry Bunny in Pink by Angelic Pretty

img_5554From BTSSB to AP, black to pink, gothic to sweet, new to old, this dress and the last one could not be more different.

This adorable little cherry bunny OP was release in 2009 (which basically means I will probably never own it…) and is basically my whole branding in a dress.  Cherries?  Check.  Buns?  Check.  Pink?  Check.  Well, it looks like AP beat me to the punch here.

While my style does tend jump around more than an excited little bun bun, I do always find myself back where I started with the cute, fluffy pink frills.  This dress represents everything that I hope to be.  A cute, fluffy, and happy bun bun.

1) Wonder Cookie in Sax by Angelic Pretty

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Picking this beauty out of all of AP’s beautiful “wonder” prints was probably the most difficult decision in my entire life.

Alice in Wonderland, or Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland if you want to be all formal, has held a special place in my heart for a very long time now.   Alice in Wonderland (the animated one) is my favorite Disney movie, Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland is my favorite book ever (yes, I have read the original novel), and, as you may know if you read my blog post on why otome games and anime shouldn’t mix, “Alice in the Country of Hearts” is my favorite otome game ever.  So, really, it would only be natural that I would be attracted to the absolutely stunning and adorable “wonder” dresses done by AP.

It took me quite a while to decide on which dress was my favorite.  After all, they are all beautiful, and if not for the rules I set in place for myself, all the dresses on here would be “wonder” dresses.  However, after much thought, I finally settled on Wonder Cookie OP in sax.

While this is not exactly the most wonderland inspired dress made by AP, I do believe that this OP is the one that best captures the look of Alice’s dress.  Furthermore, I think that the little cookie buttons are absolutely adorable and quite accurately represent the cookies shown in the Disney film.  I don’t particularly like Alice too much (I am more of a Cheshire sort of girl), but this dress makes me want nothing more than to blindly follow a bun down a rabbit hole.

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And that’s it!  Whoo, well that was quite the journey.

You know, I never exactly realized how hard my style is to define until now.  I guess that’s what happens when you actually sit down and create a visual representation of the things buzzing around in your brain.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this list!  Why don’t you tell me what dream dresses you got your eye on in the comments?  I look forward to reading all about them!

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Otome: Finding a Good One

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Finding a good otome game can be likened to finding a piece of hay in a stack of needles.

Both extremely hard and excruciatingly painful.

Trust me fellow fairies, I have been there, and am still there.  And as a self proclaimed veteran in the otome game community, I am here to assure you that it only gets worse.  However, fear not you bright-eyed, newborn otome fairy, Beijing is here to, hopefully, ease your suffering.

I have complied a short list of the major things that I personally look out for when trying to find a good otome game.  Of course, this is all from my personal opinion and viewpoint, but I have tried to keep this list broad so that it can be applicable to a wide range of people regardless of personal tastes.  That being said however, my own tastes and opinions do come into play so please take everything here with a grain of salt and remember that I am only writing from what I know.

Now that all that stuff if out of the way, let’s get to the list!

1) A Clear and Understandable Description

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MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE DESCRIPTION!

Ok, you would think that this is an obvious fact.  However, this was not the case when I first started to play otome games.  Perhaps this is obvious to all of you because you have, you know, a brain, but it wasn’t to me!

I remember wasting so much time (thankfully not money) playing games where I was totally lost while playing them.  I always downloaded the game thinking “Oh, I’ll understand it after playing the prologue”.  But that never happened!  And soon, I found myself having played a whole route and still being confused!

My advice, if you don’t understand the description, don’t play it.  You probably won’t understand the game either.

2) Read the Reviews

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If they’re bad, don’t waste your time.

This is another simple concept that I couldn’t get through my young mind when I started playing.  Reviews are there for a reason!  Read them!

While there are a few strange outliers where people give one star ratings for stupid things, for the most part, reviews are really helpful and important when making the decision on whether to spend your time on a game or not.

3) Look for Nice Artwork

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Does this make me sound like a snob?  Probably.

Do I care?  Kinda.

Oh well.

As snobbish and rude as this sounds, I mean it.  Yes, I do know how much effort it takes to create an otome game.  I’ve tried just storyboarding an idea I had for one and I was already feeling the soul crushing weight of it.  However, there is no denying the fact that good, clean artwork is a sign of professional work.

On that same note, professional work usually means that there are several people working on this project together.  And because there are more people to bounce ideas off of, the end product is a ton better than the work that is produced by a single person.  Yes, there are a few exceptions, however, this is the general rule of thumb for any product really.

I am not saying that amateur work, or work done by smaller groups that do not have the money to hire more or any artists should just be automatically labeled as trash.  However, if you are a person who is new to otome games, then I do recommend that you try out the stuff made by the powerhouse companies such as Chertiz and Voltage Inc. first.

And that just about wraps up all the main points.  I sincerely hope that this was helpful to you in some way, shape, or form.  Hopefully this will make that stack of needles less intimidating.

Haha, who am I kidding.

Either way, I still hope you at least enjoyed reading this!  From one otome fairy to another, I wish you luck in finding your perfect otome bae.

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Tea Party Talks: My Opinion on Bittersweet Lolita


Before we even start, can we just establish that this dress is beyond adorable?

Welcome once again fairies and cheshires!  Today I shall be tackling one of the most controversial issues in the Lolita Fashion Community.  Bittersweet Lolita.

*cue dramatic music here*

As we all know there are several sub-styles of Lolita Fashion.  These range from broad, well known ones — sweet and gothic for example — to the more obscure and narrow ones — like gurololi and sailor.  However, despite all the various styles, can’t all seem to agree on whether Bittersweet is a “thing” or not.

Truly, if you ask me, it hardly matters.  If you think of yourself as a “bittersweet lolita master” then that’s fine.  Moreover, if you think that bittersweet is just a fancy term for sweet lolita in black then that’s cool as well.  As long as you are happy and not shaming or insulting others for their own personal preference — which really has nothing to do with you — then go ahead and think what you want to think about this topic.

Even still however, I am not opinionless — despite popular belief.  Personally, I do not think that bittersweet is really a “thing”.  Why you ask?  Well I’ll tell you in just a bit!  But first, grab yourself a cup of tea, get comfortable, and let’s have a chat over tea!

Bittersweet dresses are beautiful.  There is no denying that.  Really, all lolita dresses are stunning.  However, the way you can really define a Bittersweet dress is a little too narrow.

Of course, there are other sub-styles that are exceedingly narrow as well.  Let’s take Sailor as an example.  Sailor lolita dresses can only be catogorized into the Sailor style when they have the certain “Japanese school uniform” type of top, are minimalistic, and have a sailor hat.  They also tend to traditionally follow the color scheme of blue, white, and red.  The blue makes up majority of the coordinate with the red and white to compliment it as accents.


This narrow window of what can be considered a Sailor lolita coord may make me seem like a hypocrite for using the explaination that the requirements for a Bittersweet coord are too narrow.  However, the key difference between the two lies in the color palettes.  While it is required for Bittersweet coordinates to contain large amounts of black and plenty of soft pastels to give it a “sweet” vibe, Sailor coordinates are not confined by the same color rules.  Sailor lolita coords can range from misty blue colors to deep, forest greens or to even bright reds so long as the shape of the dress resembles that of a traditional sailor outfit.

However, this issue of narrowness in the Bittersweet sub-style is not the only reason why I personally don’t recognize Bittersweet Lolita as a proper sub-style.  My second issue would be the vagueness of the sub-style.

Personally, when I think of the word “bittersweet” I think of dark brown tones.  Colors that are usually related to dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate come to mind.  As a result, when I first heard of “Bittersweet lolita” I instantly thought that this referred to coordinates that were heavy on the chocolate tones or chocolate motifs.  I thought this for a really long time and I only recently learned that that’s not what Bittersweet is.

This is more of a personal grievance rather than an actual issue, but really, the entire “debate” on this topic is all about personal preference.

Whether you’re into the small, obscure sub-styles of lolita or prefer the main three, I hope you all enjoyed this little chat over tea.  I would adore to continue this Tea Party Talk with all of you in the comments, so be sure to tell me your opinion!  All I ask is that you be respectful towards all the people in the community and avoid insulting or otherwise putting down other people with a differing opinion.

Thank you all so much for reading!  Please continue to express all of your lovely selves through any clothing you wish (so long as it’s not attacking others)! ^_^

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Beijing’s Picks: Canon Homosexual Couples Edition

Look who’s risen from the dead~!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Beijing’s Picks!  This has been a post that I have been wanting to do for a while now, and what better time to get around to it than for LGBTQ+ Pride Month?  With all the supportive and fantastic content I have seen this month I am so happy that I am able to contribute to it in my own way.

As I have already stated in some of my previous content, I am a huge yaoi fan.  However, what you don’t know, is that I’m also super into yuri couples as well!  I know that these works of fiction are not the best representations of homosexual relationships, but shoujos aren’t exactly the best representations of heterosexual relationships either, now are they?  At least that’s how I see it.  “But Beijing!  It’s not the same thing!” No kidding.  But that doesn’t mean all are bad.  Sure there are a few yuri’s and yaoi’s that do make some serious mistakes, these are usually the popular ones for some reason, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are bad.  In fact, there are several animes and mangas that have wonderful homosexual relationships that I completely adore.  And here, I will show you that.

However, there are a few rules that you have to keep in mind when reading this list.

The first rule: None of these couples will be from an anime or manga that is catogorized as a yaoi, shounen-ai, yuri, or shoujo-ai.  If not that would just be unfair and this is meant to highlight homosexual relationships that shine in a predominantly heterosexual world.

Second rule: The relationship must be canon.  As much as I love my non-canon (not calling it fanon, sorry) ships (freaking White Rose for the win!) it wouldn’t really make much sense for me to put them on a post for Pride Month.  However, a list of those ships is on my agenda for future a post.

Now, without further delay, let’s get right into it!

(WARNING!  WILD SPOILERS AHEAD! PROCEED WITH CAUTION!)

3) Haruka and Michiru from Sailor Moon


Did I watch the whole series through?  No.

Did I have to to know that these two are adorable together?  No.

Anyone who even has the slightest idea of what anime is knows who Haruka and Michiru are.  They are kinda the face of homosexual relationships in anime.  Just saying.

Personally, I completely adore the dynamic between these two.  Michiru’s refined and traditionally lady-like personality perfectly balances out Haruka’s more tomboyish and teasing one.  Not only that but neither one is the obvious “leader”.  Neither one just drags the other through life.  They both have their strengths and weaknesses, and they make up for each other’s faults.  This, to me, is amazingly beautiful.

2) Yuuri and Victor from Yuri!!! On Ice


We were born to ship Victuri~!

How could I make a canon homosexual couples ship list without including Victor and Yuuri?  These two are the newest poster children for gay male couples in non-yaoi animes.  I seriously don’t know how you walk into the anime community at this point and not know about these two cuties.

It goes without saying what I completely adore about these two, but I’ll say it anyway.  These two not only are adorable together but also have such a natural and loving relationship.  Which is something that has become increasingly difficult to find in anime across the board.  Not only that, but I also really like the way Victor always helps and is there for Yuuri when he is anxious.  It’s so sweet and it fills me with warm fuzzy feelings.

1) Touya and Yukito from CLAMP


The beautiful soul pair.  The destined star children of CLAMP.

I adore these two beyond what should be humanly possible.  They’re cute, sweet, and are perfect for each other in every way possible.  Both of them care more about the other than themselves which is so sweet and heartwarming to see.  Touya was even willing to give up his only way to see his dead mother and really connect and be able to protect his younger sister for him.  That’s trust right there.  Furthermore, their compatibility is unbelievable.  Yukito is sweet and naive while Touya is playful and protective.  I find is so cute when Yukito is eating so much and Touya playfully teases him about it.  It’s so adorable!

So many cute relationships!  This is great!

I hope that from this blog post you have learned, if you didn’t already know, to appreciate the lovely homosexual relationships found in anime and manga, and have been able to see that these relationships can be just as, if not more, cute as heterosexual relationships.  Homosexual relationships in anime and manga tend to get a pretty bad reputation, so I hope this also showed you that there are many great homosexual relationships in anime and manga.  Not all of them are badly written smut with a whole lot of noncon and kink.

And with that, I wish you all a great Pride Month.  Gay, straight, bi, pan, ace, poly, demi, trans, anything, I spread my love to you all.  Love, understanding, and positivity.  There is enough violence and hate, we don’t need more of it.

Happy 2017 Pride Month!

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RWBY: It IS an Anime

Anime.  What is it?  And what is it not?  Don’t ask me because I don’t know.  And neither does a good majority of the anime community.

Let’s be real here, as much time as we all spend watching anime, not many of us really know what defines an anime as an anime.  Sure, we know that an animated series or movie created in Japan is anime.  That’s a no brainer.  But, when we are confronted with shows that look like they’re anime, but not made in Japan, or shows that have elements of an anime, but again, are not made in Japan, the lines become heavily blurred.  This is where conflict arises.

It really depends on who you ask in the anime community whether a show is an anime or not.  Some specifically restrict the heavenly title of “anime” to series and films only made in Japan.  However, you can ask someone else and they will tell you that as long as it’s in the style of anime — big eyes, over exagerated expressions, ect — then yes, it is an anime.  Then there are people who will shrug and say that they don’t know and move on with their day.  Normally, I am that last person.  However, that doesn’t exactly make for a good blog post does it?

If you ask me, it really doesn’t matter whether these questionable shows are anime or not.  A show is a show and as long as it’s good and I like the art style then I really don’t think it matters.  I’ll watch what I want to watch; end of story.  If you don’t agree then that’s completely fine as well.  As long as you don’t create a superiority complex around that, or begin picking on people because they either are a “nerd” for watching an “anime” or accusing them of not being a “true anime fan” because they watch something that’s a questionable anime, then you do you.  My point is to just be nice to other people.

However, I digress, despite my heavily neutral standpoint on this issue, I would like to put my two cents in on this argument.  I personally lean towards the side of “if it’s in the style of anime, then it’s an anime”.  This is because I feel that it’s slightly exclusionary to put labels on these shows that fall into a grey area just because they are not made in Japan.  Furthermore, there are a couple of points that support these questionable shows.  Here, I will be addressing them while using RWBY as an example.

I could use several other series as an example — Avatar: The Last Airbender for example — but because I am a enormous RWBY fairy, I shall be using this series as an example.  Plus, I haven’t watched any other questionable series — that I know of anyway.  Sorry.

Wow, this is a really long intro.  If you haven’t skipped over it yet, I applaud you!  However, this is getting too much even for me, so let’s begin!

1) It Adheres to the Japanese Meaning of the Word “Anime”


Huh. Uh, well last time I checked, RWBY is an animated series. Can we move on now?

2) It Adheres to the English Definition of the Word “Anime”


Key words, “style of animation originating from Japan” and “a Japanese style”.  Nowhere is it stated that the show must be from Japan.  The requirements for a show to be an anime are very loose, and therefore shows that a lot of the so called “standards” a show must meet in order to be categorized as an anime are very much so made up by the anime community.

Furthermore, the couple of optional things that the definition gives as notes to identify a show as an anime are things that RWBY meets.  Colorful art and characters?  Check.


Futuristic setting or fantastic themes?  Check.  Violence?  Check.


Sexuality?  One word.  Yang.


I think it’s safe to say that RWBY fits the English definition of anime pretty well.

I think that’s that then.  Of course if you don’t agree then that’s completely fine.  This isn’t exactly the debate of the century here.  I do however reccomend you watch RWBY regardless of this topic.  The animation is nice and it gets better and better as the series progresses.  The same can be said about the plot.  If you enjoy video games you will probably enjoy this series as well.

This was a rather silly post, and I don’t think it went anywhere but I still hope you enjoyed reading it all the same.  However, if you are going to take away anything from this post then it should be to just be nice to people, and not harrass others because of silly issues like this.  Just be nice to people.  End of story.

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Beijing’s Picks: Yaoi Edition


I guess this officially makes me a disgrace to the anime community now.

Welcome once again fairies and cheshires to this month’s Beijing’s Picks!  As for this month, we shall be exploring my top three favorite yaoi mangas!  The yaois highlighted in this blog post are exclusive to mangas because that is the predominant media yaoi is seen in.  It is also my personal preference of tending to enjoy manga over anime, but that’s just me.

Despite yaoi being a part anime I do not hold it to the same standards as my overall anime favorites.  I do the same thing for any genre favorite picks.  The reason for my overall picks being overall picks is because of the overall impact that those series left on me after I watched/read them — that’s a lot of “overalls” in one sentence!  With genre picks my criteria is more geared towards character development, plot, and my personal analysis of the characters.  To me there are two types of people: those who put emphasis on plot, and those who put emphasis on characters.  I am the latter of the two.  I of course believe that a good plot is important, but I also belive that a mediocre plot can be upheld by strong characters.  Therefore to me, a story with phenomenal characters is much more important to me than a complex plot — which is probably why I enjoy romance over horror or physiological/deep animes.  Furthermore, because yaoi is a part of the romance genre, I also have picked these based on their romantic qualities such as the character dynamic and developement of the romance.  Yes, yes, all very offical stuffs.

Now that we are clear on the criteria, let us descend into yaoi hell!

3) Love Lesson

“Shall I give you a love lesson?”

A simple phrase is all that it took to send Ayami and Mineyuki down their path of love.

Love Lesson is full of fluffy romance scences between the two protagonists, but still contains healthy doses of smut and angst.  It would be a lie to say that the plot line used in Love Lesson is not over done, but despite the copious amounts of cliché just seeping through the pages, the dynamic of Ayami and Mineyuki’s relationship just continues to pull me in.

Mineyuki is absolutely adorable in his timid way of progressing his relationship with Ayami.  Ayami is his first true love; meaning that while he is experienced in dating others, Ayami has been the first he’s experienced real romantic attraction to, and he’s scared.  Moreover, he  is also afraid of what others will think of their relationship, and rightfully so, with both of them being entertainers.  Mineyuki only wants the best for Ayami and it is shown in the final chapters that he is willing to give up what is most precious to him if it means that Ayami will be safe, prosperous, and happy.  Mineyuki is definately not your typical uke — submissive one in the relationship — who relies on his seme — dominant one in the relationship — to protect him.  If anything, Mineyuki is more of the protector.

But let’s not leave out the sweet cinnamon bun Ayami!  Ayami is absolutely clueless about love which leads to him being rather dependent on Mineyuki — in the respect of love at least.  However that does not mean that Mineyuki is the only one putting any effort into their relationship.  While Mineyuki is insecure about his emotions and scared of what the future holds for the two of them, Ayami is confident and acts a pillar of support for Mineyuki to lean on when he doubts both himself or their relationship.  Because Ayami only knows of true, pure love, he has no doubts that his relationship with Mineyuki is real.  Ayami is definitely the ideal boyfriend!

2) Hana to Usagi


“…I can’t see his face, so I don’t get what he’s thinking, but I think… he’s not a bad person.”

The terribly shy bunny and the cheerful and upbeat delivery guy.  It’s the perfect recipe for romance!

I have already meantioned Hana to Usagi in “Tea Party Talks: My Opinion on Yaoi” which explores my personal opinion on both yaoi and it’s fandom.  There, I use Hana to Usagi as an example of yaoi done well, and here, I stand by that opinion.  Not only is Hana to Usagi adorable and funny, but it also gives highlight to the simplicity of pure romance between two people who love each other.  There is no noncon, incest, or complicated angst, just pure love.  That is not to say that this manga is void of conflict, but the conflict that occurs is out of pure love.  Furthermore, the conflict is not unnecessarily drawn out, and the same conflict doesn’t repeat itself.  The characters fix the problem, talk about it, get to the root of the problem, then establish what must be done so it doesn’t happen again.  You know, like mature adults in a healthy relationship.

See!  If a person who is so insecure that they have to wear a bunny head can have a healthy and happy relationship with someone then — almost — anyone should be able to.  Right?

1) Sayonara Note


“I will do anything for the sake of that smile.  I will let go of you so please don’t notice.  I have always liked [you].”

Love, trust, selflessness, and moving forwards.  All of it tied up in a neat little bow.

This manga.  This manga is — and forever will be — the holy grail of yaoi.  Sayonara Note is a one volume manga that packs a real punch.  To the feels.  Filled to the brim with the angst that comes with pure — thought to be — unrequited love, Sayonara Note will forever leave a — good — dent in your little fairy heart.  Not only are the characters lovely, amazing, and all deserve a big hug, the plot is also well paced, and very thought through.  Our two protagonists — Takumasa and Ken — are both lovely little cinnamon buns who honestly care about each other more than should be humanly possible.

Both Takumasa and Ken are willing to give up on their own love for each other if that means the other will be happy.  Due to each of their selflessness, intense love and care for one another, and lack of communication however, their best trait ends up turning against them.  Both think that they are doing the right thing by letting the other go when really they are only hurting both each other and themselves by doing so.  This is why communication is key in any relationship kids.

However, both learn from this experience and by the end of the manga, they have the happy and healthy relationship that they both deserve.

I recommend this manga to anyone who is interested in romance mangas period.  Despite Sayonara Note being classified as a yaoi/shounen-ai, I honestly believe this manga to be an exemplary manga for romance manga across the board.  Sayonara Note highlights on the purity of true love in an amazing way that is both captivating and truly heart-wrenching.  It is a shame that more people do not know about this manga.

If you couldn’t tell by now, I have an obvious bias towards romances with pure, caring love between innocent little cinnamon buns.  I also tend to bias lesser known mangas for some reason.  Perhaps this is a mindset or perhaps I am subconsciously trying to be a “special little snowflake”.  I have honestly no clue.  In any case, if you are already a yaoi fan fairy then yay!  I just pushed you deeper into yaoi hell!  And if you are new here, even better!  I honestly hope you enjoy living amongst us trash!  But in all seriousness, I do hope you enjoy these titles, and remember, love is love, no matter the form it takes.

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Tea Party Talks: Pokemon VS Digimon


I like both.

Okay, well good bye everyone; it’s time for me to get buried alive now.

But really, in all seriousness.  Why does it matter?  Both franchises have their good points  and their bad points.  At the end of the day, it really comes down to what your personal preferences are.  I like both, but I like both for different reasons.  For me, I prefer the plot of Digimon and the anime itself, but I prefer the aesthetic of Pokemon over Digimon.

To make things easier I have split this post up into two parts.  The first part will address what I like and dislike about Pokémon while the second will do the same for Digimon.  This is just my opinion so feel free to leave your own opinion in the comments!  But please no fandom wars.  This is a no hate zone thank you.  Now grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s begin!

Pokemon:


As I have already established, the thing that I like most about Pokémon is the overall aesthetic of the pokemon themselves.  I like how there is a large variety of pokémon which allows for anyone to find at least one that they like.  I personally really like Umbreon.  To some people this may come as a shock because my personal aesthetic matches Slyveon the best and I refer to both myself and other advid fans as “fairies” — a word that I use as a gender neutral term for “fangirl” because “fan” doesn’t imply the needed amount of obsession and not all advid fans are girls.  However, I digress, my point is that even if you are not interested in the soft cuteness of some pokémon, there are still other pokémon that could draw you into the franchise.  What I belive the Pokémon franchise does the best is creating all types of creatures and characters that can appeal to, and be marketed to, a wide range of people regardless of gender, age, or any other factors.

At the very same time however, there are a few things that I do dislike about Pokémon.  Probably the biggest reason why I dislike Pokémon — besides personal preference — is because of the anime.  I don’t like the repedativeness of the show and even as a kid I didn’t like it.  You can argue that Pokémon is a show that is directed at childeren, and I understand that.  I am not trying to compare Pokémon to Death Note because that is illogical.  However, Digimon was also an anime that was directed at childern, but I still enjoy it as one of my favorites to this day.  Nothing new happens in the show which makes it extremely predictable.  After a while, you don’t even have to watch the show to know what will happen next.

Digimon:


Digimon was my first anime that I watched as a kid.  I still have fond memories of watching the Disney English dub on Jetex “late” at night with my cousins.  As a kid the show completely captivated me and I still enjoy the series with not just nostalgia, but enjoyment as well.  Despite the show being directed at a younger audience there are still a healthy amount of mature themes that could be enjoyed by all age groups.  The creators were, and still are, not afraid to kill off beloved characters — still mourning Wizardmon here — nor are they afraid to tackle more mature topics.

*SPOILER WARNING*

For example, in Digimon Tamers Jeri’s partner Leomon was killed right in front of her, and because of the nature of the relationships the digidestined have with their digimon partners, this event was severally traumatic for Jeri.  Furthermore, Jeri already had issues with loss with her mom having died when Jeri was a still a young girl.  As a result, Jeri ended up falling into deep despair which lead to her being taken over by the D-Reaper — a lifeform that was originally a computer program meant to eradicate all digimon — and becoming a host for it.  To say the very least, Tamers was extremely dark — I still question why it’s called a “kid’s show”.

*END SPOILER WARNING*

Anyway, my point is that the plot and character developement of the Digimon anime(s) was well done and is up to par with some other adventure animes — at least in my opinion.

However, as much as I absolutely adore the anime, I do have one major problem with the Digimon franchise.  The way the franchise was marketed to be specific.  Digimon was a show that was solely marketed towards boys.  Looking at the digimon themselves it is quite understandable why this was done, but that doesn’t make it right that Digimon was marketed as being exclusively for boys. As the times have gone on, Digimon has slowly been becoming something more for all kids and the diversity of what the digimon look like has broadened, but at this point, it might not matter. The idea that Digimon is specifically for boys, the “one category” theme for the appearence of the digital monsters, and the fact that not many people know about Digimon has already been laid as a foundation for the franchise.  The marketing of the franchise and the amount of diversity in the appearence of the digimon could have been done better if you ask me.

At the end of the day fairies and cheshires, it really doesn’t matter.  Like what you want to like and dislike what you want to dislike.  So long as you are not hurting anyone for what they like or dislike then it really doesn’t matter.  After all, the rest of the world is just going to call us geeks anyway.


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