Fandom Features #4: Haikyuu!!

So you’re probably wondering why this blog went sort off dead when I was doing really well in posting regularly. Suddenly I disappeared again, despite saying that I had more free time than ever. Well, event plannings happened, midterms, final exams for my last legitimate term before internship… You get the picture.

(Actually, I also blog at Stay Bookish now. So I am not exactly dead. Come visit me there sometimes, hahaha.)

So here it is: the big one. The big part of my disappearance. Do I regret not posting? Not really. Am I in hell? Yes. But the main reason of course, is because this bloody fandom took over my life. Greetings from Haikyuu hell, this is your fangirl speaking.

I am a big fan of sports animes, or at least I thought I was when I realized that I only watched Slam Dunk and Kuroko no Basket. KnB gave me this huge anime slump, because I was so engrossed with it that I read the manga when we were given the cliffhanger for Season 2. I was so devastated when it ended, and then I slowly drifted away from watching anime. But it’s a good thing, I guess. Because after that, I realized how much books meant to me. Anyways, back to the main point. I wanted to watch more sports animes. So during that slump, I tried watching Free! but I could not keep a straight face on because they were showing a lot of abs around, okay? Then I watched Yuri!!! On Ice, and to be honest, my Fandom Features post for that one will explain itself. After YOI, I wanted more. And the next best thing is Haikyuu.

HAIKYU!!

59955Inspired after watching a volleyball ace nicknamed “Little Giant” in action, small-statured Shouyou Hinata revives the volleyball club at his middle school. The newly-formed team even makes it to a tournament; however, their first match turns out to be their last when they are brutally squashed by the “King of the Court,” Tobio Kageyama. Hinata vows to surpass Kageyama, and so after graduating from middle school, he joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team—only to find that his sworn rival, Kageyama, is now his teammate.

Thanks to his short height, Hinata struggles to find his role on the team, even with his superior jumping power. Surprisingly, Kageyama has his own problems that only Hinata can help with, and learning to work together appears to be the only way for the team to be successful. Based on Haruichi Furudate’s popular shounen manga of the same name, Haikyuu!! is an exhilarating and emotional sports comedy following two determined athletes as they attempt to patch a heated rivalry in order to make their high school volleyball team the best in Japan.

(Season 1 synopsis from MyAnimeList)

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So when we had four days off school, I decided to watch Haikyuu on a whim. It was fun at first, and then I got sucked into this black hole. Too late have I realized that I may have already sold a part of my soul to Furudate Haruichi without knowing about the transaction. The process was very quick actually. The first episode managed to hook me in a single heartbeat. I managed to watch Seasons 1 and 2 in three days, each season consisting of 24 episodes, with maximum intervals that consist of eating, semi-sleeping, slight concern over school projects, and slight hesitation to watch it immediately because every moment is precious. (And I also tend to pause the episodes a lot because I was laughing too hard, up to the point where I can’t breathe.)

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I seem to have forgotten what it was like to obsessively fangirl over an anime. The feelings that resurfaced after watching Haikyuu Season 1 were ridiculous. I read Volumes 1 – 12 of the manga. I watched 2/4 productions of the stage play, and I am updated with the current production. I could not stop myself from looking at tumblr posts, memes, artworks… HECK I EVEN WATCHED A LOT OF Multi-Editor Projects again. I started dabbling with video editing again so I can make an editor project of my own. I developed ships again. Things got even more intense because I was even reading fanfiction (*winks*) again. Language should have been a barrier, but I didn’t even care and I watched the 4 full seiyuu events without subs. I love their seiyuus so much that I planned to binge watch the other animes that they are in. In short, Haikyuu took over my life. I became a trash, and I basically spam Twitter with incoherent fangirl noises everyday because of this show. I can’t think of a day where I haven’t mentioned my love for my ships. So if my ship sinks, I’m planning on taking everybody down with me. *evil laugh*

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So how on earth did a single anime turn me into a more ridiculous fangirl? Does that kind of power even exist? Truth be told, I am just an inch closer to bursting a blood vessel from too much fangirling because of this show. I love it so much, I could probably list down a thousand reasons on why this show is just the best. But like everything else, those reasons can be simplified. Here’s a rundown:

1. Every character has their own way of expressing their love for volleyball.

Everyone has their own motivation to love the sport, and that motivation radiates to boost the entire team’s morale. It is a story about rising to the top again, with the mighty crows proving that they can fly again and will surpass anything that blocks their goal. Volleyball is all about connecting, and everyone in Karasuno’s team knows that. Which is why every member strives to become a better player than they already are. There’s passion in everyone’s eyes. Also other than improving their own strength, they remind the audience of the most important strategy of all: teamwork.

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2. It’s funny.

What I also love about Haikyuu is that it does not lack a sense of humor. It is probably one of the factors that carries the series all together. When I rewatch a certain episode, I come back for the humor. Haikyuu has a natural feel to it, and it feels so good to just laugh your heart out with the players’ antics. Everything works well together, like perfect cogs. They are all such huge volleyball dorks, and their humor supports each other. It is fun to watch a show where they put all of their heart and soul into the sport, and they still get to be funny and crazy. Yes, they take volleyball seriously, but they also want to carry out that it’s not a fun sport if you do it alone. (Also, did I mention that they are dorks?)

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3. Good luck choosing a team to support.

One thing that Haruichi Furudate emphasized in this series is the team dynamics. Yes, we have Karasuno and they are the main team that you would want to support… okay maybe not because they are not the only high school that is competing for the championship in the prefecture, let alone in Japan. There are a lot of teams in this series, and they are all amazing in their own hilarious ways. Furudate even gave some of them side stories and it will make you want to go, “OKAY. WHO DO YOU REALLY WANT ME TO SUPPORT NOW? “

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My personal favorite besides Karasuno would be Aoba Johsai/Seijoh High School (because of my ship). They are such a cool team, and they analyze their opponents well. They really are one of the best teams in their prefecture.

Just imagine my agony when they are battling each other. I want Karasuno to win, but I will cry buckets if Seijoh loses. It’s just too much for my poor heart. (And because my OTP is the captain and the ace, hoho)

4. In every game they play, you cannot help but cheer for them.

Despite the eternal agony of feeling like I don’t know what team to support, my heart will always go for Karasuno. They are the underdogs rising back to the very top. And their journey to reach the orange court is heartwarming to watch. Their matches are so intense. Every play makes you want to go “NICE SERVE!”, or “NICE RECEIVE!”, and when they look like they are just building pace or they are one score behind, it will get you to scream “ONE MORE!”, and when they miss, it will make you scream “DON’T MIND!”. It brings out that feeling of support, like if you’re rooting for your favorite team IRL.

But yeah, “GO, GO, KARASUNO!”

5. Amazing character development.

Majority of the things I listed down are for Haikyuu Season 1. Basically, everything levels up in Season 2. And when I say character development, I really mean it.

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Haikyuu, in the simplest terms, is amazing. Honestly, I don’t know when was the last time that I got too passionate about a certain fandom. I don’t mind that it took over my life, because it turned into an inspiration that reawakened a certain side of me that I unconciously repressed. Haikyuu can really motivate its viewers with all of the positivity that it radiates on the screen. And I believe that people need that kind of positivity in their lives. Like its main character, Haikyuu is like a ball of sunshine. It makes you smile just thinking about it, and all is well on a rainy day.

It’s the sort of anime that just sticks to you. If you’re in an anime slump like I was, this is the perfect show to watch. If you’re also just starting out, and you don’t know what anime you should watch first, go for this one. Or rather, don’t take my word for it. Dive in yourself, and maybe see for yourself on why I cannot seem to stop talking about it. Just a reminder though: if you do decide to watch this, your body might slightly itch and it will make you want to play volleyball.

And there we go. Been a while since I have poured my soul out unto a blog post and it feels great. If you ever decide to join the Haikyuu fandom, I will welcome you with open arms. (And I will thank you eternally for keeping me company as I burn in hell.)

“Bianca, are you okay?” You’ll probably ask.

“Yes, I am perfectly fine.” I reply as my eye twitches, my blood pressure rises, and as I hold non-existent Haikyuu merch. (Which I will probably hunt down soon because no one can stop me.)

Now, question time! What fandom do you want me to feature next? Or rather, what fandom should I convince you into joining? (Based on my charts, it may or may not involve ice-skating boys.)

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Fandom Features #3: Homestuck

FandomFeatures

Fandom Features is a Thursday feature/weekly meme created by Bianca at The Ultimate Fangirl to creatively showcase the many fandoms in this world. Feel free to share details about the fandoms you are currently in, as the goal of this feature is to showcase the fandoms we belong in and maybe encourage people to join in your respective fandoms!

How do I start introducing this one? Like, in all of the fandoms that I am in, this one is the second worst. Worst in the sense that I was complete trash about it. And by trash, I mean that it has taken over my life and I am not even mad that it did. You can literally see how it still affects my life everyday. I mean, just look at my website’s name. That is influenced by this fandom. Should I really share it with you? Yes, yes I should because I want people to know how good this webcomic is.

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Hi everyone! Today, I will tell you about Homestuck. (And how this thing still breathes on my neck. Kidding.) By the way, this is spoiler-free. I have this agenda to get you guys to go into it blindly.

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I would have to say that it was because of peer pressure. As much as I love my friends, they are the ones who made me read Homestuck. These guys (or gals, rather) were my first internet friends. Actually, one of them was my classmate in high school but let’s not talk about my life right now lol.

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The image above is the first thing that everyone will see when you look up the page. Yes, that is a gif. For starters, everything was basic. At first you’ll think that it’s just a simple webcomic that will end soon. Apparently, it’s not. And I learned that the hard way. So me being myself, I just clicked and read. “Oh cool, a boy with a game.” ,  I said. But little did I know that I was in for something a little more deeper.

It literally took me an agonizing week to know WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. GOING. ON. And then I started liking it, and it consumed my life. I spent hours and hours reading about Homestuck because I wanted more! It can be compared to a life-sucking leech, but in a good way. I was lucky enough that it happened in a summer, otherwise I could have had neglected all of my schoolwork.

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Thanks Hussie. You evil overlord.

I am not this fangirl today without Homestuck. This fandom got me into drawing artworks, become a cosplay enthusiast (it is still my dream to cosplay Farmstink Buttlass), and it got me and my internet friends to edit Multi Editor Projects. Those MEPs enhanced my video editing skills, and for that I am truly grateful.

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Homestuck started on April 14, 2011. It centers around a boy named John Egbert, and is created by the mad genius Andrew Hussie. (When I say mad genius, I meant crazy as fudge.) John just turned 11. He has a new game called Sburb. No, this is unlike anything you have ever read. It has everything. The webcomic features a diverse cast of characters that will blow your socks off. It has a storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The story shifts from one mood after the other. Nothing else will keep up with it.

If you will ask me to read a webcomic, I would probably say no at first because of Homestuck. This ridiculous piece of internet marvel cannot be dethroned on the ethereal plane that is my brain. That is how good Homestuck is. Sure, it feels like a never-ending abyss but it did reach a conclusion already.

It is more than a boy and his video game. It is more than his friends being introduced. That’s basically just the start.  You will just have to keep reading and reading and reading…

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It brings my heart pure joy to have someone join the Homestuck fandom, and I swear it’s one of the best out there. No, if you have been to an anime expo, this is not all about the trolls!

You guys are lucky enough to read the whole thing. When I became a fan, I had to wait after long agonizing hiatuses, and those took MONTHS. The waiting got so bad, I forgot where I left off and now I’m starting all over again.

But this webcomic has been made immortal through the internet, and hopefully future generations could love it in all of it’s amazing format. So if you ever decide to read this webcomic, don’t be alarmed. Just be cool and think, “Well Bianca said it was good so… Maybe this is just weird fanfiction so…”

YOOOOOOOOO. Here’s the link:

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P.S. I already sold my soul to Hussie. I might get it back now.


What fandoms did you feature this week? Link them here! Also, are you going to check out Homestuck? Let’s chat!

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Fandom Features #2: Friends (1994-2004)

FandomFeatures

Fandom Features is a Thursday feature/weekly meme created by Bianca at The Ultimate Fangirl to creatively showcase the many fandoms in this world. Feel free to share details about the fandoms you are currently in, as the goal of this feature is to showcase the fandoms we belong in and maybe encourage people to join in your respective fandoms!

This week, I will be talking about the show that people have been talking about. In general, Friends happened way back in the 90’s. So when I turned 17 and legit was old enough to understand what they were all laughing about, I gave the show a try.

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FRIENDS — Season 2 — Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

I have been wanting to feature Friends on my blog for so long, but I do not know what platform I could do it in. There’s the Fangirl Corner, but I guess that would instead focus on something else. So when this feature came up in my head, I thought “Hey! Why not talk about Friends?”.

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It was all a blur, really. There was this buzz around the Internet that this show called Friends was finally on Netflix. Luckily, I knew some of the actors from the movies. There’s Jennifer Aniston who is literally everywhere. The guidance counselor from Easy A, and then there’s the old dude who was Zac Efron when he was younger. Then there’s Matt LeBlanc, who was Lucy Liu’s boyfriend in the Charlie’s Angels movies. And Courtney Cox from Cougar Town. (There was nothing good on TV when I watched an episode of Cougar Town, okay?) The other white dude sounds like a cartoon character.

I had nothing to do that summer. I did not know that my 2nd year would be in freakish hell. I think that was also the time that I started the blog.

So I dived in. Let me just say that I almost did not watch it because of the low quality, but then again it was 1994. Then jokes got great, and everything was so funny. It was not about the laugh track because it was so hilarious! I finished watching all of the 10 seasons in a month. That is how good this show is. If I had to pick the best season, I would have to say Season 3 and 7. I can’t choose.

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I mean just look at Phoebe. That is my face (and everyone else’s) when they hear the opening theme of the Friends.

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Everyone says I should watch Seinfeld first because it is “the original”, but I’m not doing that right now. Friends is this TV show where you can just sit back and relax. It’s like laughter treatment. Just in case you still don’t know what it is all about (and I will assume that you are living under a rock from the 80’s) : Friends is a comedy sitcom about six friends living in New York City, trying to balance their lives and their love life. The friends are Monica Geller, Phoebe Buffay, Rachel Green, Chandler Bing, Joey Tribbiani, and Ross Geller. The show ran for 10 seasons, creating one huge fanbase. It became a huge phenomenon, and I kid you not, the cast of Friends were equally paid $1,000,000 per episode by Season 10.

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One of the many reasons why people loved Friends is because it had this authenticity that they are real people, even though they each have pros and cons. It was pure and genuine comedy, and you can see that everyone was having fun. Everyone can relate to each of the characters. Plus it simply has the heart to deliver amazing stories every episode. It is funny without even trying. I mean have you ever seen a group of actors who just click like magnets? They really are Friends for a reason.

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See even a late 90’s kid like me enjoyed each and every episode of Friends because it is pure comedy gold. You do not know what you are missing in your life. You need it. It needs you. It’s begging you to watch it because this series is really amazing. Watch it, and you will see what I mean. I reckon that if you’re not laughing by the episode of the blackout, then just give it a go because it is the healthiest dose of laughter medicine that you can get.

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So if you decide to jump on the Friends wagon and you cannot manage not to fangirl/fanboy about it with anyone, I’ll be there for you. 😉

Do you have any fandoms that you featured on your blog this week? Link it here! Let’s talk about our fandoms!

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Fandom Features #1: Romeo X Juliet

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Hello! Welcome to another feature (that I hope becomes a weekly thing) here on The Ultimate Fangirl. This has been one of my resolutions for my blog for it’s 2nd year. I wanted to feature my many other fandoms. I mean, I did not take up the name for nothing. So let me take you on a wonderful adventure and let’s explore the world’s many fandoms.

Fandom Features is a Thursday feature/weekly meme created by Bianca at The Ultimate Fangirl to creatively showcase the many fandoms in this world. Feel free to share details about the fandoms you are currently in, as the goal of this feature is to showcase the fandoms we belong in and maybe encourage people to join in your respective fandoms!

My goal is to do this feature every Thursday. The fun part is that anyone can join in doing this lovely feature! Please feel free to link your posts on the Fandom Feature back here on The Ultimate Fangirl. I hope to leave a Linky on the post that I will do on the specific day.


For this week, I decided to feature the anime/manga adaptation that got me into the otaku world. That is Romeo X Juliet, an anime adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

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I had an aunt and an uncle who is an otaku. I got tired and a bit embarassed to ask them if they could switch channels to the cartoons, because I thought anime was for the grown-up kids like them. While I was on vacation, apparently the screen was always on Animax Asia. So while trying to connect with them, I saw this cute commercial about a girl and a boy who falls in love at a ball. But apparently, they are sworn enemies. Because the title of the series was Romeo X Juliet. And I was all… SIGN ME UP.

From that moment on, I was hooked. I did not have Animax Asia at home, so I had to make do with streaming episodes on various anime sites. It’s not as easy as it sounds. This was way back in 2010. How do you think my internet speed was doing back then? Yes, it was pretty bad. I barely get to watch half an episode per day because I had to leave the computer to buffer. But I managed to get into it and I can tell you that it was worth it.

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The thing about Romeo X Juliet is that I have no anime to compare it with. I did not know then that Naruto, Doraemon, and Voltes V was an anime. I mean, no one told me about it. I had to figure it out for myself. Back to the main point, it was Romeo X Juliet that made me stick to the whole anime/manga phase that I had in high school. If it were Anthony and Cleopatra that they opted to do instead, I would have had rolled my eyes and walked away. Yet the studio opted to remake Romeo and Juliet and put an element of fantasy in it. You get this love story with an amazing female heroine and a naive boy in line for the throne. Their destinies are star-crossed because of a dark past, yet it’s so evident that they will soon be your OTP. And since it’s a Romeo and Juliet retelling, what happens? They also mixed in some elements from Zorro, and the one behind the mask is definitely #empowerment. They fit in a romance story, and then they mixed it up with some amazing sword-fighting sequences, involved with a political drama, and fantasy elements. All in 24 episodes, all of which are 24 minutes in length.

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I also want to note the impeccable art style of this anime. Amazing landscapes here and there, like it was a mix of dystopian society and the culture from the Tudor era. (Without the cutting heads part.) If you have watched it, or you will watch after my recommendation (yay me) you will have a thing for irises. I never knew that I could be moved by the beauty within a story adapted in so many forms. (Or I am probably just trash.)

I believe in the power of this adaptation. If I had to rank the ones that I have seen, this one would come out on top. I’ll be saving the Leo and Claire Dane’s adaptation for a rainy day. How I got into Romeo and Juliet’s story is going to be in another fandom feature, I promise you that.

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Be warned: Since this is a Romeo and Juliet story, you will expect that your tears may fall. I cried since the 6th episode, I think. Halfway, I was bawling my eyes and out. I will leave the ending as a mystery, and don’t you go checking it up on Wikipedia. If you love a good tear-jerker that will also make you laugh and jump in your seat, then this is for you. If you’re hesitant to check out other anime and you want to start with something small that is close to the literary world, then I suggest that you watch this lovely anime. I will be leaving links where you can start streaming: here, here, and here. You can also read the manga: here, and here.

Also have some tissues nearby. I cannot count how many times I have cried watching this show. Oh and don’t blame me if you get the Japanese version of You Raise Me Up stuck in your head. Imagine listening to that every time the show starts. Here you go:


Before book blogging, I was this otaku. I still am. And I love how this anime made me venture out to other fandoms.

Have you guys seen this anime? Did I intrigue you? Let’s fanboy/fangirl together. Or if you want to share your lovely fandom, you can link it here on this post!

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