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What is Anime? Part Five

     In part five of my continuing series on what is anime, I’d like to touch on the effects that Japanese anime can have on it’s fans. Anime itself can be quite entertaining. It’s just fun to watch! Regardless of which style is your personal favorite, it will slowly but surely expose you to new aspects of Japanese culture. Learning to love anime will undoubtedly stir one’s curiosity about Japan and it’s people. The lifestyle, the language, the history…anime can open it all up. Try watching InuYasha and not wondering about feudal Japan! The wonderful samurai animes like Ninja Scroll and Samurai Champloo have the same effect! They draw you into the history of Japan.

Ninja Scroll
Try watching Ninja Scroll and not wondering about feudal Japan!

     Exploring anime will also expose you to the amazing costumes so common in most animes. They can be anything from the standard Japanese school uniforms and traditional kimonos to the fantastical extremes of the futuristic animes like Ghost In the Shell and Final Fantasy. The fans fascination with such clothing has led to an entire sub-culture of fans who attempt to recreate the fashions of their favorite anime characters in reality. This is cosplay.  Cosplay is, quite simply, the practice of dressing up as your favorite anime, manga, game or film character. Usually it’s for a convention or other such genre event. The detail and skill demonstrated by some of the fans is absolutely amazing! And it’s fun. You get to masquerade as beloved characters, take on their personas for a little while and share in the fun.

Cosplay is for everyone!

Vash the Stampede
Vash the Stampede–Wanted Dead or Alive!

     Lastly, delving into anime, you’ll discover the merchandising that seems to go hand in hand with all entertainment these days. Anime is no exception. Though, personally, I think the products connect with anime are a lot more fun than your standard fare! The toys and models are like the animes themselves, amazing, colorful and unexpected!  The fashion spawned by anime can be as simple as a t-shirt declaring your favorite show or perhaps a bag, my personal favorite! You’ll find something cool for nearly every popular anime out there!

     One final thing I’d like to mention…the snacks! Oh, the joy of discovering anime snacks!! I’ve alredy talked about these delicious goodies before on my post Snack Attack and I’m sure I will again. So I just wanted to mention that as you get more into anime, you’ll find yourself longing to try some of the snacks and exotic foods that are so common among all anime. My advice is go for it! The Japanese palate is very different from the American so you’ll be trying things that simply aren’t our standard fare! You can try to resist but the food is everywhere in anime!

Onegai Teacher Pocky
Mizuho Kazami–the siren of Pocky!

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Final Fantasy
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Vash the Stampede
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Onegai Teacher
Mizuho Kazami

Posted by rinda on Aug 16th 2007 | Filed in Anime,Fantasy,Food,Manga,Movies,Sims,TV | Comments (3)

Sim-ple Pleasures

      I’ve spent a good chunk of time this evening thinking about why I like Sims 2 so much.  I mean, it’s a lot of fun!  I truly love it.  But why?  I think, to me, it’s a wonderful escape.  I can create a perfect world to suit whatever my mood might be.  I get to choose the people that populate it, how they look, how they act, everything!  I can make them as funky or straight-laced as I like.  Then I get to guide them through their daily lives.  In a way, it sounds boring but it’s not!  At least not to me.    

      There’s such a pure and simple pleasure in playing the Sims.  I’m sure it satisfies that part of me that enjoyed playing Barbies and paper dolls as a child. The Sims, especially Sims 2, are animated dolls for grown-ups.  Also, it’s a lot more fun clicking my mouse and making my Sims do the dishes than it is for me to go to the kitchen and do so!  But it’s so much more than that.  
      Lately, I’ve really gotten into downloading custom content for my Sims.  I had no idea how much was out there!  It’s amazing!  While, I’ve not yet tried my hand at creating my own custom skins and meshes, I do love adding all the cool stuff that other, more talented, people create.  If you play the Sims, I suggest that you investigate some of the custom content out there.  It can breath new life into the game if you’re beginning to get bored.  You can download everything from hacks that allow you add careers or control a pregnancy to wild, imaginative genetics like hair and eyes.

       Here are some of my favorite free sites for custom downloads.  Oh, and it should go without saying that anything you download, you should check for viruses and such before installing.

 Mod the Sims2—a smorgasbord of goodies by some of the most talented people on the web.  The best place to start!

 PeggySims—My favorite place for hair for my female sims.  Lots of great stuff here.

 All About Style—I love the selection of clothes here. 

 Helaene—Her make-up and eyebrows are absolutely gorgeous!

 SimCribbling—truly unique genetics and hair meshes…perfect for my anime Sims.

      That barely scratches the surface of what’s out there.  Go and explore.  And you too could have the Sims of your dreams…no matter how wild those dreams might be.

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Posted by rinda on Jul 5th 2007 | Filed in Games,Sims | Comments (0)