[OTAKU POST] Honorable Anime Mentions


Having recently started getting back into anime, I’ve come across a few gems in the last year. Here to share as always.

Shizuo (Durarara!)

Photo by MicroBry(Flickr)

Durarara

Possibly the best internal struggle, psychological drama type anime I’ve seen since Neon Genesis Evangelion and Death Note, Durarara is a must see if you haven’t tried it out yet. There’s some surprising twists and turns in the plot and the characters are developed enough to make it actually compelling rather than just a time drain.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

This one crept up on me as I fully expected it to be a brain-drain type anime to pass the time and slightly amuse me. It was however, a deeply introspective look into the minds of the secluded disguised as a shoujo(少女). If that wasn’t intriguing enough for you to go check it out, I don’t know what is!

With that, this is a really short list! I’m currently watching Sword Art Online and a few others. Maybe once I really get into it, I’ll post again!

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Japanese Music Recommendations [OTAKU POST]


The N0 Bubblegum Edition

As time has gone on, I realised that my obsession with K-Pop and Korean music in general is not helping my Japanese Language skills. Therefore, I went in search of Japanese music that I would actually like. I write this with a small dose of sarcasm because, in my opinion, the majority of Japanese pop music is fluffy, bubblegum-popping electronic music with extremely high-pitched vocals layered on top. Don’t even get me started on Vocaloid. Now, if that’s your thing, have at it! It is not however my thing.

That said and out of the way, I can tell you what I do like about Japanese music: real bands. Japanese rock music(not Visual Kei, not pop-rock) is pretty damn good and if there is English involved…well now I can sing along too! Although this list may not be all of your favorites, and may well be very old bands/songs, but it’s what I like. Here’s my list of favorite Japanese artists to the date of this post.

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TED TALK: How books can open your mind


“No body there to teach me? Fine. I turned to books!” 

At the risk of this blog becoming a place to post my favorite TED talks, I give you yet another. One that’s dear to my heart: books! I’ve always read, I remember reading the likes of Wilber smith at 11 years old. How much I have learned about life through reading the thoughts of other people. 

Currently reading: A Feast of Crows (a Song of Ice and Fire Series)

What can you possibly learn from the Game of Thrones? You learn about the ugliness of war and human destruction. Death, degradation, humiliation, greed, hunger, ambition, rage, desperation, hope. All the emotions that we the fortunate ignore in order to live our lives in a state of blissful ignorance. There are places in the world as bleak as the Iron Islands. There are countries as war torn as Westeros is during the Game of Thrones.

But, before I turn this into a book review, praise to books! And, for my part I think it’s better to donate all your children’s books rather than your out grown clothes. 

TED and N.Korea


I recently got back into watching TED.com talks, and I stumbled upon this talk from a N.Korean woman who escaped the country.

Block B – BLOCKBUSTER Review [OTAKU POST]


The funny, corny, cheesy, making-fun-of-yourself video from my favorite troublemakers!

Block B‘s new album, BLOCKBUSTER, came out last November. As a BBC(no, not the BBC you’re thinking of) I was completely excited! It had been 8 months since Block B put anything out as they were hiatus because of certain comments…

Anyway, I had been expecting an album like their past albums: hip-hop influenced, rap-heavy and all round awesome. Instead, they blew away my expectations in making the most polished album I have seen from them to date. The album takes Block B on a wild curve from their former style of music and gives us all new everything! Well, Nillili Mambo and No Joke maybe an exception to that, but otherwise all the songs were a complete surprise. Here’s my(very biased, quick) rundown:

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Test Driven / Test First Programming


This will be the first of many(I assume) posts on Computer Science and programming.

It wasn’t until I began taking classes that I first heard about test-first programming. Basically, the whole principal behind it is to make examples(and explicit tests) before you write the chunk of code you would like to write.

Why in the world would you do that?

Well, because it keeps your head on straight. It also makes sure that you have in fact written code to do what you originally meant it to do. What I have experienced is that if you wait until after you write that function/method/what have you to write tests, the tests you write will be based on the code you have just written. This means if you wrote code that doesn’t do what you want it to, you could write tests that test if the result is correct according to the code but not correct according to the code’s purpose.

That doesn’t happen in Test Driven Programming. Instead, having just gone through the logic for how to manipulate the input to produce the result, the code for the function will just flow from that. Then, you have working code and correct code.

Now, isn’t that useful?

I think so. Especially when you are working on a larger project where different components rely on several other parts, it really helps you think clearly. I’ve been using this principle for just about a year now and I’m definitely a much better programmer than when I started(couldn’t really have called me a programmer back then).

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… more nerdiness to come!

 

PRO/CONS: Japanese Self-Learning vs Classroom Learning


Well, this works for any kind of self-learning wouldn’t it?

But I’m going to give it to you as a person who started out learning Japanese by myself and then started taking classes(because now I can!) Here are the pros/cons on classroom learning:

PROS

+ ability to interact with professor, other students

+ working practice of the language in lessons

+ motivation to learn and practice on a regular basis

+ learning cultural things

My Japanese professor actually put in time to teach us cultural lessons during class. Not only do we bow before and after class, but we were taught to give and receive things two-handed and ironically what a ふろしき(furoshiki) is.

CONS

– cannot learn at your own pace

– danger of falling into the “learn until next exam” pitfall

– learning everything at once

– if you are taking other classes also, you tend to not pay as much attention to Japanese

So those are my quick thoughts on the subject. Have you tried to teach yourself a language? How’s it going? How about classes?

I want to know allll your comments.

5 Japanese Self-Learning Resources to Tickle Your Tummy – FREEBIE [OTAKU POST]


GO read the actual series!

This time we’re talking all about the lovely Korean learning site: Talk To Me In Korean! The site was started by Hyun Woo Sun…who also happened to be the man in the video I embedded last post!

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Note: DO not try to learn both Japanese and Korean at the same time. It is too confusing o_O I tried to do both, and managed to learn both Hiragana and simple Hangul together. BUT…I’ve put my Korean learning on halt for a bit. But I will get back to it!

P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5 | Freebie