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  1. aikatsu-logo.png.72c36deba6e23f78446433d32ac10c22.png

    <spoilers ahead>

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    Ichigo was a normal middle-school girl that was rope into the world on idols after watching Mizuki’s performance. It was then when Ichigo’s passionate idol activities started. For 2 season + a movie, we saw Ichigo’s journey from rookie idol to the #1 idol in the country. Her passionate idol activities, captivated everyone, and in the end, Ichigo became part of everyone’s life. The emotion of sadness when she lost to Mizuki at the s1 finale, to her finally achieving her dream of becoming the #1 idol in the Movie. Ichigo’s journey was shared by many and in the end everyone from /ai/ (a community in 4chan that started because of Aikatsu) loved Ichigo.

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    In season 3, Ichigo was replace as the main character by Akari. Akari was obsessed with Ichigo, even using Ichigo’s named to introduce herself during her audition. Akari was different from Ichigo, Akari had very little talent, she sucked at dancing and was just horrible around. In season 3 she improved every step of the way to fulfill the promise she made to Ichigo during the Aikatsu movie, that she would meet Ichigo at the top of the Idol world. Was she able to fulfill this promise? In episode 177, the penultimate episode Aikatsu, Akari pulled off a Special A appeal, making her the only idol in history that was able to pull off that kind of appeal, thus winning the Starlight Queen competition. This scene said it all.

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    Then the final episode, I woke up at 5:30 am est, to watch the livestream of Aikatsu with my fellow /ai/. The final performance by Luminas x Soleil, playing Calendar Girls, it hurts so much. Not only because Calendar Girls was Aikatsu’s 1st ED but its the last time Ichigo and co will take the stage. In the end Ichigo stayed true to her playful self and never changed during the performance.

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    Now the show that officially started /ai/ and brought us all together is now over.

    It’s been a great 3 and a half years. Thanks to Mezashite for being the reason we could all get into a cartoon from Japan about middle school girls who sing and dance.

    Next week, Ichigo won’t be part of /ai/ or my daily life. Next week, Aikatsu Stars starts a whole new journey for myself and everyone who enjoyed Aikatsu. In the end, Ichigo and Aikatsu taught me a lot of things during that 3 1/2 years.

    So before I end this, lets do this one last time.

    MY PASSIONATE IDOL ACTIVITIES

    AIKATSU!

    IS ABOUT TO START!

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    Now, if you're not really interested about music, don't read this post. I'm not going to persuade you that music is brilliant, because you won't believe me and that's not what this post is about.

    Also, I will warn you, in case you haven't scrolled down. This post is LONG. It has had countless hours pumped into it. (Actually, not countless, more like 3.)

    If you aren't comfortable reading loads and loads about music, why I like it and what examples I can give of music I like, then this isn't the blog for you.

    If you don't mind, or are instead smiling at the thought of reading Nectar's very detailed thoughts on music, then do please continue. I would love for you to hear what I have to say.

    Nectar - Music

    Part One

    (of two)


     

    I want to talk, in this post, very generally about Music. Notice the capital 'M'.

    Just "Music".

     

    It's a wonderful thing, and it also plays a massive role in my life.

     

    I've estimated that I spend around 13 to 14 hours a day with Apple EarPods inside of my ears on a weekend.

    That is a massive portion of my day. And yes, this does mean that there is music playing in my ears most of the time.

    It is rare for me to not be listening to music. I'm not listening to anything right now, because I really wanna focus on this post.

    However, I still have the earphones in my ears, though I'm not listening to anything. I mean, why remove them? I'll probably listen to something soon anyway.

     

    What all this means, is that I listen to music a hell of a lot.

    You may be wondering because of this, why does Nectar spend so much of his time listening to music? What does it mean to him? What does he listen to? Why that music? Is there anything he doesn't like?

     

    These are all perfectly reasonable questions. I discovered halfway through a reply to a thread that my reply was too long for a forum post. This is my third attempt and rewrite to actually respond to that thread, and it has taken me 19 days to make any kind of response at all. But I'm free from the confines of a thread here, so I'll address all of these questions without feeling guilty.

     

    Why does Nectar spend so much of his time listening to music?

     

    It has become a sort of habit, recently. I've been having trouble being productive for the last few months, actually. Music has become one of the few driving factors that have actually improved my productivity, and I had may as well mention why. I spend so much time listening to music because... well... it interests me. I like listening to stories. Music is the ideal medium for storytelling in my opinion. A good musical story has very few dependencies. You don't even have to be able to play an instrument, be able to sing, or read musical notation to tell a story with music. You don't have to be able to read, write or be literate in any meaningful way. It's easy. Here are the simple requirements for composing music:

     

    • You understand the concept of pitch. Some noises have a higher and lower frequency to other noises.

    • You understand timings. You understand that if you make a few noises, it sounds better if you leave equal or divisible gaps between them.

    • You have a story you want to tell. You might hate society, you might really really like the female anatomy, or you might just want to tell someone you love them.

    • You have a thing that makes noises. There was that one song that got around this rule, but generally you're gonna need to either use your voice, whack a thing, or twang a string.

     

    That's all you really need. There's nothing in there about what language, if any, you speak. You don't need me to tell you that it doesn't matter what background you're from. Practically everybody is capable of appreciating music and creating music. Not everybody can write a book, not everybody can paint a picture. There are more people in the world that fit the above requirements than there are people capable of producing any other art form.

     

    That is why it is the ideal storytelling tool.

     

    Let's get interactive for a moment. (holy shit)

    Imagine grass. You know grass.

    Imagine a 1m square lawn.

    Try to imagine how many blades of grass there are in that lawn.

    It's hard to imagine even 1m squared's worth of grass blades.

    Now try to imagine how many blades of grass there are in the whole world.

    You done it? No? Failed miserably? Same.

    Well, here's a little secret for you.

    There are more songs, written, unwritten, imagined, and unimaginable, than there are all of those blades of grass.

     

    Now that's a fancily huge amount of music to listen to. Try fitting that on your iPod.

     

    Good Lord I've strayed away from the topic. I like stories, and I find that music is the best way to access great stories. (anime is fun too)

    You can express so much more in music than just your thoughts. Here in this post, it is difficult for me to convey much tone. I find myself putting slants on words, making some words have thicker letters, adding emoticons, and all just because there is only so much you can do with writing alone. Plain text bores me far faster than music does. I can read a book, but then that's it. I don't read it again unless it's fucking Harry Potter. If I watch a film, it is very rare that I'll ever watch it again, unless it's fucking Harry Potter. Music, on the other hand, can last me weeks, months of replaying. Now, my mileage varies with what I'm listening to, but I'll discuss why later on. The stories that music can tell you can be so complex that replays are actually necessary in order to get the full experience without it.

     

    The first time I listened to The Dark Side Of The Moon, an album by Pink Floyd, my first impression was that it was hugely unremarkable. It wasn't catchy, it wasn't clever, the lyrics were boring, it just kind of droned on and finished. I went to sleep the night I heard it, thinking exactly that. It was the following few days that I actually went back and listened again, and it was on around the 3rd complete playthrough that I realised how great it is.

     

    Good music often takes time to get into your head properly. And that's because it's sneaky. Music is a massive tease. It plays with your head and your heart, and it only gives you small amounts of the full story in each play. The reason you listen to songs more than once, and in rapid succession, is because you want to hear more. When you finish a book, you have the same feeling. You just want more. But do you read the book over and over, 10, 20, 30 times? No, of course you don't. But you'll listen to your favourite song again. Why? Because every time you hear it, you hear more of the song than you did last time.

     

    If you listen to your favourite song on repeat for too long, you'll get bored and it won't be your favourite any more. No song that I've ever found is indestructible when faced with the replayability test. They never last forever. But they last longer than other mediums do.

     

    So back to the question. Why indeed do I spend so much of my time listening to music?

    The simple answer now is that I have the means to, there's plenty of it and it's damn interesting.

    That answer isn't long enough. There are more reasons than that. Looks like I had better keep talking.

     

    What does it mean to him?

     

    Music is a very expressive medium. I think I've probably said that enough times now that you understand what I mean.

    It is cheesy, but the music that I listen to is both the soundtrack, and content, of my life.

     

    If you watch a movie that contains not a single second of musical score, it doesn't have nearly as much life as one that does. The Dark Knight is a good example of a movie made 10x better with it's soundtrack. TRON: Legacy, is another one.

    Hans Zimmer and Daft Punk use music to symbolise every emotion in the movies that they composed the score for. Every thought can be made so much more apparent when paired with a musical sequence.

     

    Imagine a bird's eye view over New York City. Straight away, if you imagine the camera moving slowly over the city, you can hear music. Of course, the pigeons that orbit the city don't have earphones in, listening to dramatic movie scores. And yet, it is natural for us as humans to imagine an orchestra scratching some strings with horse hair in a lot of different circumstances. This shows that music has very deeply established itself in our subconscious and our culture, that there is a soundtrack buried deep within everybody.

     

    And there's a soundtrack buried deep within me also. Hans Zimmer doesn't compose it for me, I discover my own.

    I am very aware that the music an individual listens to forms a soundtrack of their life. Something I have more recently realised, however, is that that soundtrack is a fairly accurate mirror of the content of that person's life also.

     

    The music that I listen to represents me. I gravitate towards music that is relatable to my exact circumstances. Sort of like how humans tend to fall in love with people that are similar to themselves and their parents.

     

    I know that I've listened to wowaka's UNHAPPY REFRAIN because I've had direct frightening experience with depression.

    I know that I've listened to Wintergatan because I dream of life in a peaceful Eastern European style village full of bicycles and cobblestone roads.

    I know that I've listened to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here because I've had to deal with the loss of somebody I love very dearly.

     

    I could point at every album in my iTunes library and tell you why it's really there. It has taken me a very long time to understand that, but I know now that there is something that subconsciously draws me to certain music. And it's probably because I recognise that that I spend so much of my time with EarPods in my ears.

     

    Sometimes I go outside, late at night or early in the morning, with a coffee and an album/song. I'll sit and listen to it, and reflect on the parts of my life that it reminds me of. Music that is visually engaging really shows you a lot about who you have been, who you are, and what you want to be.

     

    That's what it means to me. It's a tool I use to gain a deeper insight into my life that no person's words could possibly provide. It only takes a few minutes of my attention to learn about entire years of my life. If you've read this far, you're interested in what I'm saying. I encourage you to go look through your music library. Look at the album covers. Look at the titles, remember the lyrics and the music. Think about why it got into your library. Think about what it shows about you. When I did that, I woke up the following morning knowing more about myself than I ever had before.

     

    I intend to post Part Two at some point. It could be soon, or it could be a while. I wanna cram as much content into it as possible. So yes, a part 'three' might end up coming to be xD

    Regardless, I'm gonna talk about specific bands, their stories, and what they have shown me. I will talk in detail about the precise things that I look for in music. I'll talk about what I don't like. I'll talk about the music industry, and my thoughts on it's direction. And more.

     

    Thank you a whole bunch for reading this so far.

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    So in my experience of watching anime I have been deemed a feels addict. I have been all over the battlefield that is anime. These are some of the titles I have seen that will make you think about things you never thought you would think about by the end of them.

    1. Your Lie in April

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    Without spoiling anything, this anime is about a boy who plays piano and the things he needs to overcome to keep playing. The setting is amazing, the art is wonderful, and the story it tells is one that you will remember. By the end of this anime, you will have rolled through so many different emotions that you won’t no what you are doing any more. I Highly recommend Your Lie in April.

    2. Say I Love You

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    Say I Love you is about an outcast girl who meets the most popular guy in school and he falls for her. At this point you are thinking greeaaaat, another romance anime, but this title is more than that. It tells the story of how an outcast is able to make new friends, build trust in others, and forge new relationships and feel things she has never felt before. This anime will take you on a 13 episode emotional roller coaster and leave you smiling at the end.

    3. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!

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    Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions is a very light hearted anime that delves into some interesting topics to say the least. This anime starts off nice and easy and then brings you into the feels zone. You will laugh and cry with the characters and generally be glued to the screen. This anime will make you feel very happy at the end and it will also teach you some lessons, such as to accept people as they are.

    And so ends this list. If you like this list and would like to see another please let me know. I had fun writing this and I would very much enjoy writing another. See ya!

    Sincerely,
    Paladin Lunchmeat

  2. 5. Death Parade
    Okay, I know this isn’t exactly what you would call a Survival Game, but it’s somewhat similar to it.

    Genre: Drama, Mystery, Psychological
    Episodes: 12
    Aired: Jan 2015 – Mar 2015
    The anime plays in the bar Quin Decim and follows a bartender, who makes his guests play games for their life – well, that’s what they think. But in reality they’re already dead and in the afterlife, competing against each other to see who deserves to go up or down.
    The 2 competitors are always related in some way, but they lose their memories about how they died and can only gain them back, if they play the game. This gives the anime a good dose of drama and you notice how you start feeling with the characters after just one episode.

    4. Deadman Wonderland
    This anime stayed in my memory mostly because of the character designs – not only did they have very unique looks, but their personalities also differ.

    Episodes: 12
    Aired: Apr 2011 – Jul 2011
    Genres: Manglobe

    The teenage boy Ganta is sentenced to death after he was the only survivor when a mysterious man killed every student of his class. He then has to go to the craziest prison you’ve ever seen – Deadman Wonderland.

    The prisoners of this disturbing place are forced to compete against each other in many different death matches.

    3. Danganronpa: The Animation
    I never thought this anime would actually become one of my favorite animes so far. The mix of mystery and survival game is great and makes you want to continue after you’ve finished an episode.

    Genres: Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
    Episodes: 13
    Aired: Jul 2013 – Sep 2013
    Naegi Makoto was invited to enter a high school for people with special talents – even though he has none.
    Soon enough this school turns out to be a survival game: 15 students are captured and the only way to get out is to kill someone without anybody noticing. But if someone finds out, you die.

    2. Mirai Nikki
    The anime, that is famous for its yandere character, Yuno Gasai.

    Genres: Action, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
    Aired: Okt 2011 – Apr 2012
    Episodes: 26
    The story follows the student Yukki, who writes everything he sees around him in his phone diary. One day he gets a strange message from his imaginary friend, that he is supposed to participate in a survival game.

    If you’re the last participant alive, you become the God of time and space. Later he finds out, that his diary can suddenly tell the future – but he’s not the only one who owns something as powerful as that; Every participant has their own unique diary, that gives them a different advantage or disadvantage in battles.

    1. Btooom!
    No matter how often I watch this anime, it never gets boring!

    Genres: Action, Psychological
    Episodes: 12
    Aired: Okt 2012 – Dec 2012
    Ryouta is a NEET – he doesn’t go to school, doesn’t have a job, the only thing that is on his mind is the famous game Btooom. In this game you try to kill people with different types of bombs.

    Suddenly Ryouta finds himself on an island with many people trying to kill each other. He then finds out that somebody he knows sent him there to die. But there is still one chance to get out of this survival game: You have to kill seven people. And the only weapon you have is bombs – just like in Btooom.

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    We all have to start somewhere and it’s not easy with so much great anime out there , it makes it a little hard to choose what we want to start with.
    There are many genre’s to choose from and depending on where people start they may have a fractured view on the world of anime , especially if the first is not to their liking , so the first is quite important.

    In that regard it is important that the first should have a large enough range so that you can find some part of it to your liking and from there find out more about your own taste in anime , knowing what you like in movies series and books helps quite a lot as well as you can direct yourself more towards what you know you like and develop your palate from there.
    For instance , if you like romance you start off watching romance and as you go on you diverge into romance + mech , romance + supernatural , romance + SoL and so on so that you can find something that you enjoy and from there explore the new genre that you have an interest in and grow more interest in anime as a whole.

    No one ever stops changing so your current favorite series or genre might not always be the same but if you explore and find more that you enjoy you will never find yourself unable to enjoy anime as there will always be something that will interest you.
    Here are a few anime I believe are great for new anime fans or people who want to start watching anime.
    [In no particular order]

    Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

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    Drama , Romance , Music , School
    This series shows a lot of emotion and is a great starting point if you enjoy drama , music or romance. The music is also brilliant and if you enjoy the music genre it will not disappoint.

    Magi -The Labyrinth of Magic

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    Action , Adventure , Fantasy , Shounen
    This series has a lot of action , adventure and magic and is a great starting point if you enjoy fantasy. In addition to it’s brilliantly done fight scenes it has some powerful scenes that tug at your emotions.

    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

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    Drama , Magic , Psychological , Thriller , Magic Girl
    This series is a great place to start for people who want to get into the Magical Girl genre as it is both a brilliant Magical Girl anime and has a serious tone to it that allows even those that are not fans of the genre to truly enjoy it. It is also a brilliant thriller and psychological theme anime and should not be overlooked even if you doubt Magical Girl anime.

    Bakemonogatari

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    Mystery , Romance , Supernatural , Vampire
    This series is a grate starting place if you enjoy mystery or the supernatural. The use of the vampire genre is not over used , though not forgotten or neglected and the series is that much stronger because of it.

    Love Hina

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    Comedy , Ecchi , Harem , Romance , Shounen , Slice of Life
    This series is a great place to start if you enjoy the comedy , SoL , ecchi , romance , or harem genre’s. The comedy is great and the harem and ecchi scenes are done well all while being grounded in real life so that it is not too outlandish.

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