Real Neat Blog Award

Thanks to Tiny Ugly Animal for the award! I’m still just getting myself set-up here, so it’s nice to hear someone appreciates the effort.

The rules:real-neat-award-1

  • Display the award logo.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
  • Nominate 5-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them 7 questions.

Tiny Ugly Animal’s questions:

So, what are your thoughts on…

  1. potatoes?
  2. shoes?
  3. the color purple?
  4. flying pigs?
  5. Tom Hiddleston?
  6. big hands?
  7. gasoline?

Now, I’ll admit, I was debating whether I should participate in this or not. My blog is essentially about my reading life (and its closely associated hobbies) and these questions seem a bit off topic for me. But, then again, just because I was asked about “potatoes” doesn’t mean I can’t also find a way to keep it on topic…or, try to, anyways.

So, here are my answers!

My Thoughts on Potatoes

yakiimoIt’s a traditional street food in Autumn in Japan. Sweet Potatoes grilled over dry heat, called yakiimo (焼き芋). This is one of the first foods that intrigued me about Japan, and one I still have yet to try. I remember the scene came from one of the Sailor Moon movies… or, was it in the opening credits? Usagi and Chibiusa attempt to eat a very hot potato. I can’t remember exactly where it happened, but since watching it I’ve been wanting to try roasting a Japanese sweet potato this way. The only problem is that it’s been impossible to find ‘Japanese’ sweet potatoes in my city. I guess next time I visit Japan I should plan to go in the Autumn!

My Thoughts on Shoes

slam dunk 1I’ve read a TON of manga, but never a title where the shoes take centre stage. They rarely do more for the character than act as mere decoration.

Off the top of my head, I can only think of 2 pairs of shoes that are explicitly discussed in manga. The first are in “Slam Dunk” where Sakuragi has to actually go to the store and pick out a pair of sneakers appropriate for the basketball court. And the other, is in “High School Debut” where Yoh states his mortification at Haruna’s choice of clothing (and rightly so!).

I think that shoes basically get forgotten in most series simply because they don’t contribute to the overall story. It’s the character and their actions that tend to be important. Close up shots of faces and hands are what are used to express action and emotion. Shoes just don’t seem to really matter for the most part – except that it would look strange if characters were constantly wandering around bare footed.

*since writing the above, I’ve been informed that the title “The Garden of Words” features a character who wants to design shoes. So, I guess there is a “shoe” manga after all. I haven’t read it though, so I don’t know how much it is actually discussed.

My Thoughts on The Colour Purple

Purple… is very purpley! Here are a selection of “purple” manga from my collection:purple manga2

My Thoughts on Flying Pigs

porco rosso

The only “flying pig” I can think of is the ace pilot in Hayao Miyazaki’s Porco Rosso. I saw the film years ago, and even then it was just once. Despite being part of the Studio Ghibli cannon, it is somewhat surprising that there isn’t more Porco Rosso merchandise out there. I’ve been to the Ghibli museum, and I don’t even remember seeing him represented in any of the installations… But, I guess as a film it is missing Miyazaki’s trademark young female protagonist, and all of the “cutesy” elements that fans love. Maybe people are just less interested in a story featuring a middle-aged pig. He’s certainly not as “cute” as Totoro. I do actually remember enjoying the film (much more than expected), and think it might be time for a re-watch.

My Thoughts on Tom Hiddleston

Who? Uhhh… I don’t know who this is… Ohhhh… Well, thank you Google. So, thoughts: ummm…

Considering that he plays a ‘Norse’ god in what I’m assuming is his most famous role (because it’s the only one I recognize), I would recommend he read “Vinland Saga” by Makoto Yukimura. There is certainly a sad showing for manga featuring Norse mythology!

My Thoughts on Big Hands

demon love spell 1They say that hands are the most difficult thing to draw. And no one seems to have a harder time of it than Mayu Shinjo. As popular as her series tend to be, she is terrible at drawing human proportions, especially in her male characters. Sometimes they’ll have too small of a head, too large of a chest, and most especially gargantuan over-sized hands that would look more at home on a gorilla. You could almost call this her “trademark” artistic style (which would then make these bizarre proportions excusable), except that her proportions on a single character also change drastically from panel to panel. I don’t know if she thinks this adds to her manga, or if she’s just sloppy, but it is certainly distracting.

My Thoughts on Gasoline

initial dI guess we’ll go back to Japan and discuss Japanese Gas Pumps. The gas pump is one of the most “culture shock” things I encountered in Japan. They are manned by young people in cosplay (i.e. uniform) who furiously clean both inside and outside of your car, and then bow to you when you leave. It’s a bizarre experience. Especially considering that I always pump my own gas at a station.

In Canada, there is usually 2 pumps on the right-hand side that are designated for assistants. I avoid those pumps if at all possible. I like to do it myself. I don’t want to talk to other humans. And I pay at the pump. It’s quick and uncomplicated. And, I like it that way.

The idea of this high level of customer service is unnerving! If you ever pick up the manga “Skip Beat!” or “Initial D”, especially in the early volumes for both series, you will get a glimpse of what I’m talking about.


I Nominate:

*Don’t feel bad if you don’t want to participate. I’ve never participated in one of these award/tags before so I’m still not entirely sure what the blogger etiquette is.

My Questions:

  1. What was the first manga you read?
  2. What was the last manga you read?
  3. Do you finish a volume of manga in 1 sitting, or will you take a break in the middle?
  4. Do you have a specific place that you like to read?
  5. Have you ever started a new hobby because of your interest in anime/manga?
  6. Recommend a non-manga comic book or graphic novel.
  7. What is your favourite novel?

*I’m also looking to follow more bloggers who talk about manga! If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear about it!

14 thoughts on “Real Neat Blog Award

  1. Thank you for the nomination 😀 ill be sure to do this week 🙂 I agree about the pump thing. Do it myself In the rural Australian areas there are stations where you they will fill up for you. And its funny you mentioned three of my favourite mangas. Demon love spell – interesting to learn about the authors style they are big hands LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yay! Thank you! It was all very interesting answers and I am very happy you did participate. I love how you did tie it all in with your interest. As for a shoe manga; there is a yaoi manga called RED theatre about a man who inherits his mothers shoe empire. The manga is completely built up around shoes. It sounds shallow but it actually is rather dark.

    Those manned gas pumps. I don’t know how to behave if someone were to fill my car. I don’t think there is even one gas station in this country where people fill your car for you. 🤔 I avoid contact with people as much as I can too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Real Neat, I was nominated for the Real Neat blog Award! – polyphonic v0x

  4. OMG thank you for tagging me! I had no idea, I didn’t get a notification.
    lol about the big hands question. Motomi Kyousuke has the same problem. She herself has mentioned it. lol

    About the pump thing, I’ve experienced this in Korea. And I guess the attendant had never seen a foreigner before because he kept creepily staring at me. It pissed me off. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! I’m glad you found it then! I’m still new to the whole “pingback” thing.
      That’s interesting to hear about Motomi! I’ve never noticed it… but I did notice she seems to have a hard time drawing adults. She has a few shockingly bad illustrations in Beast Master that always make me laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Real Neat Blog Award | rakioddbooks

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