torachan: a kitten looking out the window (chloe in window)
Yikes, it's nearly the end of December and I still have several topics to do!

[personal profile] st_aurafina asked me to talk about the kitties!

Can you believe they are nine months old this month!? How did that happen! They're getting to be such big grown-up girls (but also still totally kittens).

This is a long post about my cats omg so long )

And of course, I can't write a post about kitties without kitty pictures!

torachan: devil boy from sinfest with his arms thrust up victoriously (yatta)
I'm still taking topic suggestions for the December meme, if you want me to talk about something.

[personal profile] gorgeousnerd asked me to name my top five video games.

That's tough! I've been playing video games for a really long time. XD There are some games I loved so much but haven't played in decades and maybe wouldn't even like if I played them now. And there are games I loved but just don't think about so maybe I'll totally overlook something when making this list! And there's also the whole thing where I freeze up when asked to narrow down my favorite anythings or put favorites in order.

So rather than this being some sort of definitive list, where I put things in order of how much I like them, this is instead five games I have loved over the years and would not hesitate to recommend as some my top favorite games.

Oooookay, well, that ended up being like 1500 words, so cut tag time )

Well...that's five games! I feel like I also should have included something Mario, because I love Mario so much, but it's also really hard to pick a favorite Mario. If I had to pick, maybe the Galaxy series or 3D World. But I also really love all the New SMB games for going back to sidescrolling and just updating the graphics, because I really do love that.

I don't need 3D, guys! I don't need realistic-looking RPGs, either! Just give me stuff that looks like an SNES game but updated with better graphics and gameplay. XD That's all I ask!
torachan: karkat from homestuck headdesking (karkat headdesk)
I'm still taking topic suggestions for the December meme, if you want me to talk about something.

[personal profile] chagrined asked me about my favorite parts of Homestuck.

Well, number one very favorite part of all time? Hands-down, John: Reunite with your loving wife and daughter. I loved the earlier "reunion" where Casey the salamander was his daughter, too, but this surpassed it in awesomeness by quite a bit.

For me the animations are not one of my favorite parts of Homestuck in general, because while some of them look very nice, I find it hard to follow what's going on. But this isn't plotty or anything, just silly, so I don't have that problem with it.

But you said parts, plural, so what else, hmm? This is actually really hard because I haven't gone back and reread and it's been a long time, so it's all kind of vague. I loved Gamzee's murder spree and the papping that brought it to an end. I loved Calliope's story and the slow reveal with Caliborn. I loved Jack fusing with Bec, and the way that affects how he interacts with Jade. I loved the mayor and can town. Pretty much anything with Terezi or Vriska.

I am not caught up on it and I think at this point maybe I will just wait until it's really for real finished and then do a reread before reading the end.
torachan: john from homestuck looking shocked (john shocked)
It looks like it's that time of year again when people are taking ideas for posts throughout December. As always, I can't commit to doing a certain post on a certain date, but I will do posts for as many topics as people give me.

So if there's anything you'd like to see me ramble on about, could be about manga, video games, TV shows, writing, fandom in general, work, life, other non-fannish stuff, whatever! It can be specific or general. It can be something I already talk about a fair amount or something you wish I'd talk about more. It can even be something you've never seen me express an opinion on but you're curious about my thoughts!

If you have something you'd like to see me talk about, just comment here and I will post about it sometime during the month. There's no time limit to leaving comments, so if you see this post a few days or even a few weeks late, you can still ask! (As long as it's still within December!)

Previous years' topics are all right here.
torachan: tavros from homestuck dressed as pupa pan (pupa pan)
[personal profile] st_aurafina asked about my favorite snacks of the year.

That's kind of tough because since I haven't been making regular snack posts or anything I don't remember what I had! XD So it's possible there was something really awesome that I'm just totally blanking on, but here are a few tasty snacks that instagram helped me remember. XD

Polinky Assari Corn: I think we carried this once years ago, but it's not something we've had for a long time, so if I had it before, I can't remember. We got a bunch in (in several different flavors, but the original corn one is what appealed to me most) earlier this year during our remodel and I got hooked on it. It's a sweet corn taste that vaguely reminds me of something but I can't put my finger on it.

Happy Valley Farms Dried Chili Mango: Really tasty dried mango chunks with a dusting of chili powder. Sadly these are expensive and so I only bought them the once.

Purple Sweet Potato Pocky: I love purple sweet potato/taro/ube, so I was excited to see Pocky get in on it with this new addition to the Midi line (these ones have a higher coating to cookie ratio than regular Pocky).

And...that's it! I really wish I could do better on this question because I'm sure I ate a lot of really great stuff this year, but I have a crap memory. :( I guess I should instagram things more often!

And the last question is from [personal profile] mikotokun, who asked what I think about LGBT rights becoming a national political issue.

I think it's a good thing! There could definitely stand to be less of a laser focus on marriage and more of a focus on other aspects of the issue, but overall I'm glad that it's getting as much attention as it has been.
torachan: arale from dr slump with a huge grin on her face (arale)
Well, there's three days left in the month (including today) and three questions left, so I guess that worked out okay. XD

[personal profile] littlebutfierce asked about this year's best musical discoveries. Despite my resolution early in the year to listen to more new (to me) music, that just really hasn't happened. In fact, I haven't even listened to much music, period, this year, because I don't tend to have it on at home and I got annoyed with having my earbuds in my pocket at work so stopped carrying them with me and now don't even get that 20 minutes of music on my daily commute that I used to. I'd really like for that to change in 2015 because I really do love music. I just need to make it more of a habit.

I already talked a lot about new stuff I discovered in the first half of the year here (and if you missed those posts, the links are still up), so for this I'll concentrate on the second half of the year. (In which I hardly listened to any music at all, so it made it much easier to sort through stuff! XD)

After hearing [personal profile] littlebutfierce talk about Stars so much, this was the year I finally listened to them and now they're one of my favorite bands, too. I linked some other favorites in one of my monthly music posts earlier this year, but one song I discovered more recently is The Night Starts Here, which is just absolutely amazing. It's such a beautiful song and the lyrics are great, too. I even made note of a couple lines to use as fic titles if I ever write fic again.

This was the year when I went to see two movies (Guardians of the Galaxy and Big Hero 6) after not having been to the theatre in like four years. I had been vaguely aware that Fall Out Boy had some new songs out, but it wasn't until I shazammed the song that played over the closing credits of Big Hero 6 that I realised Immortals was one of those new songs. It's really, really catchy and definitely has me looking forward to their new album.

I had never heard of Johnny's WEST before being asked to translate their song Can't Stop a few weeks ago, but I am so glad I got this request because these guys are awesome. I can't stop (ha) listening to this song and at one point just put it on loop while I was out taking a walk because it's just that catchy. I hope they have it at karaoke next time I go.

The Strokes' Between Love and Hate is by no means new or even new to me, but it is one of those songs I had on my computer and hadn't listened to for years until just recently. The Strokes are one of those artists I really should check out and see what they're doing these days, because I really like their first two albums a lot.

Sid's cover of Luna Sea's Wish is really straight-forward and if I had the original song on my hard drive (something to remedy) I'd probably upload that instead, but this is the version that I heard and got hooked on this year anyway, so...

I was going through "unlistened to" (most of which is actually listened to, but my iTunes library got wiped the last time I switched computers) music on my hard drive at one point in the past couple months and decided to start with the end of the alphabet instead of the beginning, so I ended up listening to a Unicorn best of and rediscovered quite a few favorites, including Pekepeke, for which I also recommend watching the very '80s video (Okuda Tamio is so young!).

And finally, four songs from Damien Rice's most recent album. I first heard of Rice when his song The Blower's Daughter was used in the film Closer. I loved that song soooooooo much (still do) and listened to the album it was on and did not like a single other thing and so never bothered to seek anything else of his out. But just recently [personal profile] mikotokun was enthusing about this album and offered to upload it for me, so I gave it a try and wow! I hated the first song, liked a few other songs okay, and absolutely loved these four (so much so that I couldn't choose just one, even though I always like to do just one song per artist on these sorts of posts): The Box, Colour Me In, The Greatest Bastard, and It Takes a Lot to Know a Man.
torachan: aradia from homestuck (aradia)
[personal profile] melannen asked about my neighborhood and what it's like.

I live in the same neighborhood, in the same house, that I've lived in all my life, and it's changed quite a bit in those nearly forty (!?) years. My mom bought this house in the early '70s and at the time this was just an ordinary neighborhood with relatively cheap housing. Growing up, our neighbors were almost all poor/working class families, with a few more well-off folks.

Now? The whole area (the whole city) has undergone extensive gentrification and this falling-down house would probably fetch close to a million dollars just for the property so someone could knock it down and build something that wasn't made entirely of ants and termites. Needless to say, aside from the families who've been here as long as we have or longer, everyone else is now rich and fancy (you have to be to afford a house here), so it's a weird mix.

There's a bunch of small houses and apartment buildings, with big lot-filling remodels in between. The block I live on is across the street from a cemetery and a college, and one end of the street is taken up by the playground and parking lot of a YWCA, which narrows it down to barely more than one lane and makes it look like an alley (people are always like "there's a street there?"). Aside from the college, I'm also a couple blocks from an elementary school and a junior high, so mid-afternoon becomes The Childrening (a time to stay in your house and avoid running errands if at all possible).

It's a very walkable neighborhood. There are all sorts of stores and restaurants within a a mile radius, and we live right by the bus stops for two major lines (with several others a few blocks away). And while I wish it were less hilly, it's great for biking, too (though there aren't a lot of dedicated bike lanes).

I really like it and while I have issues with my mom as a landlord, I'm grateful for this house because otherwise I would never be able to afford to live in this area (not even in a one-room apartment, much less a house).
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
[personal profile] gonergone asked if I get to use my Japanese at work a lot.

My boss and many of my coworkers, as well as almost all the higher-ups in the company are native Japanese speakers, many of whom do not speak English very well, and even those who can carry on a conversation in English prefer to speak Japanese if possible. Probably about half my conversation with coworkers is done in Japanese, as are all email communications with higher-ups.

Then of course there are customers. A good chunk of our customers are Japanese-speaking and the majority of our cashiers and stockers are not, so I am often called on to deal with customers (both on the phone and in person) who request someone who speaks Japanese.

So yes! I do use my Japanese a lot at work. It's definitely possible to be part of this company and not speak Japanese (even in positions other than just cashier or stocker), but it really helps.
torachan: nepeta from homestuck (nepeta)
[personal profile] devon asked, "Do you like milk tea? If so, what is your favorite kind? If not, do you like some other kind of tea?"

If you'd asked me a few years ago, I would have said I don't really like tea and that would have been a really short and uninteresting answer. But for some reason over the past few years I've come to like tea quite a bit!

Growing up I never had tea very much. I tried ice tea a few times and didn't really like it, and as for green tea, the only kind I ever had was the cheap restaurant kind which did not endear me to it.

I'm still not much for hot tea (of any sort), though I do sometimes feel like drinking it on a really cold night or when I'm sick. That's mostly because I just don't really like hot drinks in general, rather than any failing on tea's part. But a few years ago I decided to start trying cold tea of various varieties since I do like cold drinks, and I found that there is a lot out there I like, including regular old ice tea (though I prefer flavored varieties and it's still not my favorite choice).

As for milk tea, what I like best is royal milk tea, which seems to be a Japanese-only thing. Nittou has a really good powder mix, and Suntory's Koucha Hime is a canned variety I like a lot. I also like Itoen's Teas'tea black and green tea lattes (slightly favor the green tea one on this). I also like some brands of Thai tea, though I find it really hit or miss whether I'll like it. Honeybee and Tasco are two we sell that I like.
torachan: palmon smiling (palmon)
[personal profile] chagrined asked if I collect anything or have ever collected something. Well, now I don't collect anything, but I certainly have in the past! I don't know what flipped the switch from collecting to not collecting, but I don't really feel the urge to collect stuff now.

When I was really into Digimon, I collected a lot of Digimon stuff. I bought toys and CDs (there was so much Digimon music) and any magazines that mentioned Digimon. But my biggest collection was my Digimon cards. I really wanted a complete collection and I managed it up to a certain point (when I stopped collecting, there were still new packs coming out, but I had a complete collection as of the point where I stopped). Not only did I use auction sites to get rare cards from regular decks, but I also got a bunch of rare cards that were given out at special events and stuff like that. And these were all Japanese cards. I got a lot of them off of Yahoo Auctions Japan and later I got a bunch from this guy who ran a site with scans of all the cards. I guess I must have just contacted him and asked him if he could get me any? I can't even remember now, but I bought a lot through him. I can't seem to find the pictures I must have taken when I sold the lot, but I had hundreds of cards, and since I didn't know anyone local who spoke Japanese and was interested in playing Digimon cards, they were just for collecting, not playing. :p

As a kid, one thing I really loved collecting was Disney figures. These were small plastic figures, maybe an inch and a half to two inches tall. I do have a picture of these that I took when I sold the collection. I kept them all in a big plastic jar and liked to take them out and line them up in various configurations. Because this was back before there was such a thing as the Disney store, and before Disney merchandise was as ubiquitous as it is today, I mostly bought these either at Disneyland or at the Hallmark store, and I was always excited to find a new one.
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] lunabee34 asked about my favorite restaurants.

Honestly, I tend to eat more fast food and take out than go to actual restaurants, so these are not necessarily places I go to often, but they are places I liked a lot and would go to more if I went to restaurants more often.

In no particular order...

They have sandwiches, burgers, and a bunch of other stuff. I've only been here three times, but it's so good! (Though sadly they seem to rotate their menu items a lot and two of the three things I had and loved are no longer on the menu. ;_;) They have really good sweet potato fries.

Pono Burger
Hawaiian burgers. The fig burger is super delicious. I can't remember the other one I tried, but I think it was on a seasonal menu, so now it's not on their website. Again, very good sweet potato fries (I'm glad this is a trend right now).

The Cheesecake Factory
So much delicious cheesecake! But they also have really good food, too, and their menu is huge (which can be a little overwhelming sometimes, but I do like having a ton of stuff to choose from).

Fogo de Chão
I've only been here once and will probably never go again unless I start making way more money than I am now, but omg it was AMAZING. It's an all-you-can eat Brazilian grill, though unlike AYCE Korean BBQ, they bring it to your table already cooked. (Speaking of Korean BBQ, it looks like the place I was going to choose as a favorite is closed!)

Mr. Pizza
This is an awesome Korean pizza place with so many delicious pizzas! If it were closer, I would eat there more often, but as it is I've only been there once so far. :( But they have pizza with a sweet potato stuffed crust! *insert Homer Simpson drooling sounds* (Also super sad this Japanese pizza place closed. They had mochi crust!)

If this yakitori place were here on the west side I would definitely go there so much more often. As it is, I hardly ever go to Little Tokyo these days, so it's been ages since I've been there. But it's so good! Best items are the bacon-wrapped asparagus and the grilled corn on the cob.

Curry House
Japanese-style curry (specifically House Foods brand curry, which as it happens is my favorite). The best is the katsu curry with cheese!
torachan: ewan mcgregor pulling his glasses down to look over the top (ewan glasses)
[personal profile] musesfool asked me to talk about Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and as it just so happens, I am ALL FULL OF B99 FEELS at the moment, so this should be easy! I mean, I am always full of B99 feels, but after yesterday's episode, even more so. (DOUG JUDY!!! Man, I really hope there are some Yuletide fics about Doug Judy. Best minor character!)

So, Brooklyn Nine-Nine! It's an awesome show! Like with many new shows these days, I think I got interested in it due to a gif set that crossed my tumblr dash. I'm always on the lookout for new sitcoms because it's my show format of choice, and B99 really hits that sweet spot of being hilarious while almost never making me squirm with embarrassment for the characters.

I first watched it on my own, then introduced Alexander to it and rewatched it all with him (this was towards the end of season one, so there was quite a bit out), then when Irene moved back here, I got her hooked on it and we have actually watched it through twice, plus some more with Alexander when he's been over, so a lot of these episodes I've now seen four or five times, but they are still just as funny and just as awesome and I love everybody so much.

A lot of people don't like Jake, but while he's not my favorite character (that would be Boyle, Holt, or Gina - hard to pick), I do like him a lot. Especially the Doug Judy episodes! Doug Judy is wasted as a guest star. He needs to be a regular! I don't know how that would be accomplished, but I want to watch the Jake and Rosa and Doug Judy show, damn it.

So in conclusion: DOUG JUDY.

(I know I'm late to the party starting off these meme posts, but I am still taking topics if you want to ask me about something.)
torachan: (Default)
It looks like people are doing that meme again where you open yourself up for questions and then post the answers throughout December. The "official" version has people specifying a date along with their question, but that's not really doable for me, so I'll just answer the questions whenever, one per day, whenever I have a chance.

So if there's anything you'd like to see me ramble on about, could be about manga, video games, TV shows, writing, fandom in general, work, life, other non-fannish stuff, whatever! It can be specific or general. It can be something I already talk about a fair amount or something you wish I'd talk about more. It can even be something you've never seen me express an opinion on but you're curious about my thoughts!

If you have something you'd like to see me talk about, just comment here and I will post about it sometime during the month. There's no time limit to leaving comments, so if you see this post a few days or even a few weeks late, you can still ask! (As long as it's still within December 2014.)

If you're curious about last year's posts, they're all right here.
torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
Okay, I've got three questions left and I decided to do all three at once, despite having three days left in the year, because I seem much less likely to get out a post other than a daily happiness post on a work day. (And yet somehow despite planning this ahead, I still left it for 11pm even on my day off. gdi, self!)

[personal profile] forests_of_fire asked about my favorite thing about Japanese culture, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to give a non-answer answer for that one, because I don't know! I mean, part of it is that I don't live in Japan, but also when I think about how I would answer the question "what is my favorite thing about American culture", I'd have no idea what to say, either. I mean, in that case, my favorite thing is probably that it's what I'm used to, which obviously cannot be applied to Japan. Sorry I don't have a better answer!

[personal profile] pulchritude had another Japanese-related question! What do I prefer about Japanese and English to each other, and things I dislike about each language, as well as favourite words from each language. This is one that requires a lot of thought! Well, what I like best about English is that it's my native language so I never have to think about it. XD With Japanese, even though I'm fluent, it's just not the same. I'm still way better at reading than anything else. I used to think if I had more practice speaking then I would get better at it, but now I've worked for three years at a place where about half my daily conversations are in Japanese and yet I still often struggle to say what I want to say. Like, I know all the words and if I were to read them I would have no problem understanding, but I don't have the same instant access when I want to compose a sentence. I feel like a lot of people are fooled into thinking I'm better at Japanese than I am because I don't have an accent. -_-

Anyway, obviously that is not really an answer to what I like best about English. So let me think. Oh wait, yes, I do have an easy answer there: politeness levels. I'm sure if I were raised in Japan it would come naturally to me, but it doesn't and it's definitely something I struggle with. I can and do speak politely to customers, but I gave up on doing it with my coworkers because I would always unconsciously lapse into casual speech, and because I'm not Japanese and this is not Japan, I can get away with it. It's something I'm really glad to not have to deal with in English!

What I like best about Japanese is the ability to not gender someone. Japanese almost never uses third-person pronouns, perferring to leave out the subject altogether or to use someone's name/title instead, and if you do use a pronoun, there are gender neutral pronouns that sound natural in more situations than "they" does in English (I am a big fan of "they" but if you're trying to be gender neutral and not call attention to it, "they" does not always work (and specifically gender-neutral pronouns call even more attention to themselves by not being commonly used)). This isn't really something I find myself needing much in real life, but when writing fic about trans characters, I have really wished I had the options in English that I would in Japanese! (And similarly, translating a manga or whatever where a character is not gendered in the original and you're forced to either gender them or not have it read naturally really sucks! This applies to situations where the text itself is deliberately not gendering them (like a manga about trans or intersex characters), but also to situations where the gender of the character is not clear from the text but you have to pick something in English and might make the wrong choice.)

So I guess my dislikes would be what I like about the opposite language! XD (That was easy!)

As for words, hmm, I don't know. I feel like I have a lot of favorite words, as in words I use a lot, but whenever I'm asked to pick a favorite word, my mind goes blank.

And one last question! [personal profile] norah asked for an update on Irene since I don't mention her that much anymore. I talk to her every day (or almost every day) on Facetime, which is an awesome invention because it doesn't feel like talking on the phone at all, and since I got a little stand for my iphone now my hand doesn't get cramped up holding it to talk, either! But since we aren't living together right now, there's not as much opportunity to include her in my daily happiness posts.

I'm pretty sure I did post about her getting a new job a few months ago, though. She is working at a supermarket in the next town over. It pays better than her job at McDonald's did (and they seem to treat their employees better), but the McDonald's job was nice because it was literally right down the street (like a mile and a half or so, I think), whereas now she has a commute, and while there's not much in the way of traffic, the weather and nighttime driving is stressful for her.

She and Damian spent Christmas with Damian's mom and brother and brother's fiancee in Boston. The store she works at was closed on Christmas day and she was able to get Thursday off, too, so they left Tuesday afternoon after work and came back Thursday.
torachan: john from homestuck looking shocked (john shocked)
[personal profile] littlebutfierce asked about favorite anime badasses and I've been dragging my feet on this one because I just Don't Know. XD "Badass" is one of those terms I see thrown around in fandom all the time but not something I've ever used myself and I feel like I don't really have a good grasp on exactly what it's supposed to mean. So I turned to TV Tropes to try and get a feel for it, but that didn't really help. I even looked through the list of anime characters said to be badass by the site, but even though there are characters I like listed there, I would feel weird listing any of them as "favorite badasses" because that's not something I really look for in a character or care about.

But to keep this from being a total non-answer answer, of all the characters on the anime badasses page, the one I liked the best is Yankumi from Gokusen. Here is what the site has to say about her:

"Yankumi from Gokusen personifies this, when she's not pretending to be a floozy ditz to keep her students in the dark about the fact that she is the sole heir to the feared Ooedo Yakuza group. Single handedly takes on Yakuza gangsters, thieves and at one point her entire class of punkass gakuran. Also takes down Man Mountain Tetsuru with two fingers straight up the nose to prove a point about strength. Combined with her tendency to go into yakuza mode at the slightest and most inappropriate provocation she is a 24/7 badass who will surely hold all of Tokyo in her iron grip when her grandfather finally croaks."
torachan: an avatar of me done scott pilgrim style (scott pilgrim style me)
[personal profile] inkstone asked about my favorite comfort foods. Comfort food is a term I've always been kind of uncertain about. It seems (both from what I gather when other people talk about it and from the wikipedia article I just read) to be foods that are both nostalgic and the sort of thing you eat when you want to feel better or stuff like that. But I don't eat emotionally, so I find it hard to relate to the term.

So instead I'll just tackle the nostalgia angle. These are not foods I eat often (in some cases I haven't eaten them in years), but they are things I remember fondly from my childhood.

1. Cheese quesadillas. Just cheese in a tortilla fried in butter. So simple but so delicious.

2. Hambuger and rice. A big bowl of white rice with butter and salt and some ground beef mixed in. So good!

3. Kraft macaroni and cheese. I never had homemade mac and cheese until I was well into adulthood and even as a kid, the boxed stuff was a treat. I don't know what Kraft does but this is one product where store brands just do not taste the same.

4. Orange jello salad. I know jello salads are something it's fun to make fun of, but this one is really tasty! It's something my mom made a lot for church potlucks. Grated carrots, a can of crushed pinapple, and orange jello.

I would like to make it an even five, but I can't think of anything else! XD
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] kate asked about my process for translating, but I'm afraid this is going to be a disappointing answer because I don't really have one! ^_^;;

Basically what I do when I translate is I have the Japanese open in one window and a text file (or other document) open in another and I'll read the Japanese and then write it down in English. I usually go sentence by sentence (or line by line if it's lyrics) unless I'm unsure about something, and most of the time I do it on the first go rather than reading the whole thing through beforehand and then going back and translating it. (The exception would be for like manga I'm scanlating that I've read before, but even then it's usually a long time between when I first read it and when I'm translating it, so I might as well not have read it before.)

My main goal is always to make it sound natural in English, even if that means not translating words or phrases literally, so there is that. I'd rather get the meaning across and have it flow well than use the exact same words as the original and have it be stilted and clunky.
torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] telesilla asked what appeals to me when it comes to video games in general--what makes me like a certain franchise or type of game?

This is certainly a timely question as I have been VERY FIRED UP about video games lately (and in fact Ruth mentioned that in her comment!). this is long and more My History of Gaming than actually answering the question, oops )
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] lunabee34 asked for anime/manga I would rec for 11-year-olds and why. That is a tough question! It really depends on the kid and what their reading level is, as well as what their interests are. And since I know you're asking for your daughter, but don't have any specifics other than age, I will go ahead and rec what I would have liked at that age. (But if you want to give any more specifics in the comments, please feel free!)

If she likes mysteries, I would recommend The Kindaichi Case Files and Case Closed. Both are murder mysteries, though Case Closed is more cartoonish. Case Closed also has an overarching plot about the main character drinking a potion that turned him into an elementary school kid (he's actually a teenager) and trying to find the people responsible.

One thing I really love about Kindaichi is that the murderers are not just evil bad guys out for money or serial killers. They always have a reason and they get a chapter or two at the end where they tell their story about why they had to get revenge on these people. It's very sympathetic to them while still showing that murder is not the right way, and they often try to commit suicide at the end (some may succeed, I don't remember) and are shown being regretful of what they've done.

Case Closed's tone is a little ligher (as I said, it's often cartoonish and has Wacky Hijinks), though the cases are still mostly murders. The cases are also a lot shorter, usually just one person is killed whereas Kindaichi cases usually span a couple volumes and all feature the cast getting stranded somewhere where people are picked off one by one. With Case Closed, there are also some cases solved by Conan and his elementary school friends (who unlike him really are little kids) that are not the big murder mysteries.

Obviously it depends on how mature your daughter is whether or not she would be able to handle these, but they are aimed primarily at junior high/early high school aged kids in Japan, so the target audience is not too different.

One thing is that Kindaichi was not fully released in the US and is out of print, so it may be hard to find. The cases pretty much stand alone, though, so if you find some and not others, you can just go with what you have. Case Closed seems to be doing well in the US and has dozens of volumes out (with about 80 out in Japan).

Another great mystery series is Young Miss Holmes, in which Sherlock Holmes has a ten-year-old niece named Christie who also solves crimes. IIRC most of the cases follow the original Holmes books but with Christie added (she doesn't solve them instead of Holmes, but follows her own clues and usually arrives at the same conclusions, that sort of thing). If you're thinking this series is a total Mary Sue fic, you're right, but it's well-written and really enjoyable. Holmes and Watson are pretty much background characters and it's just Christie and her awesome maids having adventures. This is aimed at adults, but I don't think there's anything in there that would be unsuitable for kids.

For something totally cute and light-hearted, I really love Yotsuba&! and Chi's Sweet Home. The former is about a very imaginative five-year-old girl named Yotsuba who lives with her dad. Each chapter is titled "Yotsuba & [topic]" and focuses on some new discovery or adventure of hers. She gets a bike or goes camping or plays with the neighbor girls. It's heartwarming and charming and hilarious.

Chi's Sweet Home is the story of a kitten who wanders off from her mother and gets adopted by a family with a little boy. It's told entirely from the kitten's POV and is all about her adventures.

Both of these manga are aimed at adults, but are enjoyable for all ages.

Oh, I've just thought of another one! If she likes time travel and post-apocalyptic wastelands and psychic kids then Psyren would be right up her alley! It's really cool and I know kid!me would have loved it (I imprinted early on Alas, Babylon and Time Bandits, and even earlier on Escape to Witch Mountain, so kid!me would have seen it as the ultimate combination of all of those).

Of course for adventure stuff there's the big Jump series like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. Of those my favorite, hands-down, is One Piece. There's also Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura in the magical girl genre. To be honest, I've never read Sailor Moon, but it's a classic. I did enjoy Card Captor Sakura.

If anyone else has recs, please feel free to chime in in the comments!
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
What's this, three days in a row? (I have the tab with questions open so I'm less likely to forget! "Out of sight, out of mind" is a thing that is very much a thing with me.)

Anyway, [personal profile] troisroyaumes asked about latest new candy I've tried. The thing is, I actually can't remember the last time I tried a new candy. I probably have had something, but I'm just totally blanking.

I do try new snacks fairly often, though, so I will share some of those, including one I just had today! Today I tried Bourbon's Jaga Choco, which are chocolate-covered potato chips. They were tasty, but to be honest, I've had better. Koikeya has a chocolate-coated one in their Rich Cut line that I remember being nice and salty. I felt like these Bourbon ones were missing the salt.

I also tried Sanko Yuki no Yado Chestnut & Milk Cream yesterday. These, too, were not super wow great. I love the Yuki no Yado line, because it's such a perfect mix of sweet and salty, but so far other than the original, my favorite has been the green tea one. I like chestnut-flavored stuff all right, but this was just okay. (I didn't buy this one myself; my co-worker bought a bag and shared.)

...This is actually really difficult. D: Between me and my co-worker, we try a lot of new snacks all the time, but when I don't make a note of them I kind of tend to forget about it. :-/ Sorry if this was a disappointing topic! D: D: D:


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