Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Bit of a Resurrection

I realize I have not updated since oh about... 6 months. As you can see I am a quality blogger who is great at time management and sticking to things.


I figured that since I have a little free time in life now I could post small reviews or updates on things and not be too serious. Since it has been about half a year I should probably update some major things that have happened.

Began my sophmore year of high school- The school year began simple enough. The only class I was worried about was Earth Science. I had taken the lower level class because Chemistry was not something I enjoyed. I walked into the classroom and noticed two things. 1. I had no friends in that class. 2. It was a collection of the dumbest people I had grown up with throughout elementary and middle school. My only response to all this was NOPE. Promptly after class ended I went to the counselors office to change my schedule. In the end I got switched into Chemistry, and while I did have friends in the class and it wasn't full of idiots. I have never had a worse teacher in my life. It's the kind of teacher that makes you cringe when anything remotely related to the subject comes up outside of school. She made me hate Chemistry so much when I have a feeling I could have grown to love it.

Finished first semester with straight A's- That's right. Soak in the fact that I'm awesome and you're not.

Got my hair dyed- I've never had it dyed before and I was always worried about how it turned out. I got it dyed in a really cool looking two-tone.

God I love gyaru style. It came out looking pretty well if I do say so myself. I got it dyed a little darker than my natural color on one half and a light blonde on the other. It's a bigger contrast than the ones the girls in the pictures have.

I know I did more interesting things this year, but those where what I could remember. I made new friends, rejoined tennis, am attempting to create a fashion club at my school, and got a new lolita skirt.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Anime Season

The summer anime season started a little over a week ago. I was pretty excited for Ookami-san and Highschool of the Dead and that was pretty much it. I loved the character designs for Ookami-san a lot and was excited to watch, but boy was I let down. The general quality of the show was just...low. The pacing was bad and the small 'plot' that was in the episode was just boring. The characters themselves all seemed pretty ok except for the stupid tsundere lead. They just overdid it and honestly after watching tons of shows with girls being violent to guys for laughs it just gets old.

I thought that I could give the series another chance though so I waited, downloaded, and then tried to watch the second episode. I couldn't even finish it I was that annoyed. I'm considering it dropped.

It's sort of a silly thing to say but another reason the show was just extra bad were the stupid OP and ED. If the songs were actually catchy and they were more interesting I might have wanted to watch it more.

The other series I started was Highschool of the Dead. I've been reading the manga and was excited when the anime was announced. I was not disappointed at all. It stuck pretty close with the manga and the animation was great. There was more fanservice than in the manga though I don't care at all since it's pretty easy for me to ignore that kind of stuff. The music was great and really added to the atmosphere as well. I'm excited to see more of the other characters in the upcoming episodes.

The one thing I'm worried about is how they'll end it. The series is only going to be twelve or thirteen episodes, and the manga isn't finished so Madhouse will either leave on some sort of cliffhanger, or they might make up their own ending which I really hope they don't.

Overall I'm pretty excited to see more of Highschool of the Dead as long as the quality keeps up.

This summer I really want to get a lot of anime watching done both new series and old series that I've never seen. For a new series I picked one that seemed to be pretty well liked, Amagami SS.

The show is based off of a visual novel for Playstation 2. I chose it because the art looking pretty good and I just wanted another show to watch and be interested in. I'm pretty glad I chose Amagami because it's great so far. The character are all likable so far and the protagonist isn't too big of a pansy like you usually see in romance series.

A couple series that aren't from this season that I'm watching are Tatami Galaxy and Baccano! I've downloaded the whole Baccano! series and haven't gotten around to watching it yet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

Tatami Galaxy I'm really enjoying. The art is unique but still appealing to the eyes, the series is a bit confusing at first until you get the hang of things(including some of the speed talking in the first episode). I like all of the characters and it's pretty funny too. A sort of funny thing is after I finished the first episode of Tatami Galaxy and as the ED was playing I felt really relaxed and happy.

I haven't watched a show that just made me so relaxed and eager to watch the next episode in years. It feels sort of like when I first got into anime or watched a Ghibli film. It gave me sort of a nostalgia trip even though the series itself just came out this year!

I'm really looking forward to finishing up this summer with a lot more anime under my belt.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vector Art

A couple months ago I got back into vector art after seeing the vector request thread on /w/, and I'm so glad I did because it's so fun.

My old style looked ok for an amateur or people who didn't see much vector work, but in the grand scheme of things it was BAD, BAD, BAD. I was obsessed with the stroke tool having never got the memo that it was the absolutely worst possible tool to use when doing line art of work. My old method also took me almost twice as long as my new one.

It went a little like this:
  • Rough lineart
  • Tweak rough lineart so it looks neater
  • Add new layer with base color underneath
  • Move it around so it doesn't peek out from under the lineart
  • Add shadows and highlights
  • Move the shadows and highlights so they don't overlap in odd places or poke under the lineart
I don't know if that looks like it took that long, but it did.

So I stopped vectoring for a while because of lack of inspiration and the fact that it took so long made me hesitant to start anything because I would be forced to finish it no matter what.

 Luckily a couple months ago I was stumbling around /w/ and found the vector art request thread. It was there I found the absolutely amazing vector tutorial for Illustrator. That was when my spark for vectoring came back. For one thing I'm most motivated to create something if it's a gift for someone else and if the source image is good. It's easy this way since I get to choose which image I want to do for someone and just post it when I'm finished for them. I'll be the first to say that I'd rather receive than give, but that doesn't mean I don't like that sweet feeling of doing something nice for someone.

Anyways here are comparisons of my old work to my new work:

The Old

The New

One of my most recent vectors was just done yesterday and it is my favorite one out of all that I have done, it was also the one that caused me the most grief while creating it.(The runner-up for that is the Hina vector up there.) Anyways my latest one was a Mari from Neon Genesis Evangelion and I fell in love with the style and colors of the original, so I was thrilled when mine came out almost as good.

The biggest trouble came from deciding how to go about doing the lineless parts and if I would give them lineart or not, and where it would be, etc. The second biggest trouble was the gradient of the hair. There's two ways the I do my gradients. The first way is just creating a new shape under my live paint layer and giving it a gradient. It's the easiest to control for me however it's a pain to do if the shape is complicated like Mari's hair for example. The second way, and I'm still getting used to it, is just filling in the shapes in the live paint layer with the gradient. The person who requested it helped a bit with some advice on the hair so it came out just as good as the original.

More of my vectors and other miscellaneous art can be found on my Deviantart.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yankee-kun to Megane-chan

I know almost everyone in the world has seen some sort of romantic comedy, whether it be a tv show, movie, or a book. They all usually have the same formula: the meet-up, the romance and fun hijinks, the arguement, the sadness of being apart, the conclusion where they make up and everything is hunky-dorey. Toss in some McConaughey and Lopez and it's popular for a while before being tossed into the DVD bargain bin.

 Now take all your worldly knowledge about romantic comedies and throw it out the window because Yankee-kun to Megane-chan is anything but your typical romantic comedy! Called Flunk Punk Rumble in the USA it is the story of Daichi Shinagawa, the school delinquent, and Hana Adachi, the class representative, an unlikely pair that will have you falling out of your chair with laughter as they make new friends, run for student council, and get involved in various sticky situations.

The characters in the story are all so unique and have great back stories, and although many of them are "out there", they are all lovable and unique. They range from the tall and sort of fearsome looking yet reserved Seiya Chiba, to the short and rebellious little Rinka Himeji. The character's faults are well balanced by the strengths of their friends to make a truly likable main cast. Hell, even the side characters, some of which get very little screen, - er page time are interesting.

The art for the manga is definitely unique. It doesn't have the ridiculous sparkly eyes and killer pointy chins of the 90s and early 2000s, and it still doesn't have the overly cutesy and sparkly style that is popular now. The one part of the art that is amazing is the detail in facial expressions, sometimes its over exaggerated, but it works. Sometimes it's over simplified, but it works. Miki Yoshikawa has a gift for knowing the art of expressions.The backgrounds are done beautifully and have just enough detail to be interesting, but not too much so as to get your attention off of the character art.

The story starts off with only Daichi and Hana as the main characters and slowly more and more are introduced. They are introduced in a way that you can tell, "Oh they will probably be part of the main cast," however it's not super in your face about it and the addition comes naturally. The only character whose introduction felt a little too, "BAM! In your face!" was Rinka Himeji's with her just breaking down a door and announcing herself.

The series is still going strong in Japan though the fan scanlations are a bit far behind. The story goes through their years of high school and there are sort of clumps of chapters with certain themes and then it goes on to the next story arc. A fun part is that characters that you may not have noticed or thought much about several chapters back might make a comeback and be important to the story later on.

Live Action Drama
On April 23, 2010 the first episode of the live action drama premiered on tv. It has Hiroki Narimiya playing as Daichi Shinagawa and Riisa Naka as Hana Adachi. They both do an amazing job with the personalities of the characters and their voices and expression fits the characters perfectly. It's over-the-top and hilarious, and being the first live action show I have ever watched I was pleased..

The live action takes a different turn from the manga completely however it is still enjoyable to watch for those who have never read the manga, and those who are avid fans. The main cast of five characters is there though some like Gaku Izumi are introduced earlier.

The episodes can be watched with subtitles on Viikii which is a site where people of all different cultures who know all different language work together to translate and sub many different tv shows in many different languages.

One of the only downsides of the show is that it has only been scheduled to be ten episodes long, however the manga is still going very strong. (That was horrible and unintentional rhyming)

Yankee-kun to Megane-chan  is a very funny and clever series with lovable characters, and an interesting art style which sets it apart from most series. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story that they can read and just have fun with it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Better Get the Introduction Out of the Way

I don't know how it was/is for other blog writers, but trying to figure out what to write here without rambling on and on(which I'll most likely do anyways without meaning to) seemed difficult. I wanted to get it over with because today because it would seem weird that I created my blog on June 6th and the first post was someday like November 13th. I have a nasty habit of putting things off until I know the exact and most perfect thing to write. Oh well, here I go.

What this blog's purpose is:
This blog is nothing more than a place for me to go and write about whatever I want. There's never really been a place where I could just step on in and spill out my thoughts on whatever I felt like talking about. Though I really hope that this turns out to be more than just some place where I ramble on. I'm thinking about tossing in some tutorials and reviews for different things too just to freshen it up.

About the writer:
I'm Nina, fifteen years old and live in the blazing state of Arizona. My interests are all over the map. I have been interested in graphic design and coding since I was about 10, and started being interested in video games at about that age too. I love girly fashions like lolita, gyaru, morigirl, and dollykei. (Since I'm relatively new to all these fashions I think it would be neat if this blog sort of cataloged my slow evolution through the various fashions.) I also recently got interested in dekoden and am slowly getting better.

Cherry Deer?:
When I was creating this blog it took me a loooong time to pick out a name that would fit. Because face it, if the name isn't interesting or easy to remember then it'll be tough for it to be remembered in people's heads. At first I wanted 'Cute Box', something felt oddly familiar about the name, so when it was taken and I checked who had taken it, lo and behold it was me. Years ago I attempted to make a blog and I never got past the first entry.

After I felt embarrassed about that for a while the cutest name came to me, 'Pink Deer'! I was so excited since it sounded cute and was short and sweet. Too bad it was taken. I tried thinking of other colors and such that would work, but nothing sounded right. I finally tripped over the name 'Cherry Deer' and it seemed cute enough so I rolled with it. It still sounded a little clunky, however I hope I can smooth it out over time.

Anyways that should be all the basics, I hope I can get some readers and have a fun time with this all.