i just love when you can see such improvement from mangakas like

kaneki-ken-u-not  asked:

your jobs are cool! may i ask, what do you have to major in to be able to work as a character designer? I'd like to work in a similar field, but i dont know where or how to start

Hi

Thank you very much for your support :)

I m french, I love speaking english, but please forgive me if there is some english spoken mistakes :

To answer your question I would like to give you some advices and not a tutorial about how to become a character designer or how to draw cool stuff. You can find many tips about graphic design all over tumblr I suppose :)

I have to say that I m teacher since a long time, and more recently I had the chance to teach through Gobelins school as character design/ storyteller teacher.

I would prefer to share with you some informations that nobody use to share but who are much more important than graphic tutorials so I recommand people who read this post to share it a lot :)

I think the most important things I have understood to become art director / character designer is :

1/ practicing, I guess you have to find tutorials about drawing, you have to find life drawing lessons, you have to practice life drawing a lot, nude drawing a lot, you have to find a way to tell a lot of stories, thrygh comicbooks, animations, writing books, fiming..

2/ always focusing first on storytelling in your character design, and not only about “esthetic” , (I will talk more about it below)

3/ and staying curious of discovering many different influences from every kind of Arts or cultures or ages. (I will talk more about it below)

To be franck, I didn’t learn this job through my art school (Gobelins), but through my differents jobs as storyartist, comicker, character designer in real productions.

I mean that you can not do a proper design if you don’t have a strong story behind.

I also mean that my skills as a storyteller (storyartist, writer) are absolutely essential to be a good character designer / art director. for sure, 100%. I have became a better art director when I became a better storyteller (and I still have so much to learn of course)

A good design has to tell a good story. If not, whatever this design is good looking and with nice shapes, with nice brush photoshop made, it is not a good design but a vain design. You can not become a good character designer and less a good art director if you don’t understand that deeply.

The designs below from Ratatouille Pixar movie, are not about doing great esthetic designs (but they are also great good looking in that example) but they are first of all, created from a great story and created to push the story and to tell the story : you can understand relatonships, behaviours of each character, who is main character, who is second character,  through these  line up (below)

Pixar artists doesn’t care about puting graphic details, cool details, they remove all the details who don’t push their story deeper. Pixar artists care about what they are talking about. They want to stay readable, clear, coherent, meaningfull for the audience. This is the main difference between them and for example most of the designers from video games who lost themself in too many meaningless details in their designs (I love video games by the way^^ but they are not good example for you to follow to become a good designer for animation industry)

A good design has to be readable in one second, does not need subtitles to be uderstandable to an audience. that’s all. the rest is vain.

>>>>> in a word : a good design is like an ICON, it has to become iconic. For that purpose,you have to create a strong synopsis, a strong story then to imagine from that story  a strong, pure concept, pure idea to illustrate this story through one or several designs.


so a good design is about thinking good, not really drawing good… :))


 some other great and iconic designs readable in one second without knowing the movie, yes they are not drawing but it does not matter :

So : Do your personal stories, practice scriptwriting as much as drawing, all the time . As you can see, my last design are done from my personal project. I never split drawing and scriptwriting.

I mean don’t wait to get an art school to practice seriously, don’t wait to get a great job as character designer to practice. Practice seriously through many personal projects that you write yourself. So great companies and projects will come to you.^^

_____

learn how to write story through many scenario book or filming book:

here some books I suggest you to read as soon as possible and as much as possible:

in english I guess it is this one: but I m not certain sorry:

“filming” from Eisenstein:

http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-With-Eisenstein-Vladimir-Nizhny/dp/0809013509

in french : “lecon de mise en scene d’Eisenstein”

http://www.eyrolles.com/Audiovisuel/Livre/lecons-de-mise-en-scene-9782907114059

This book from Eisenstein is the most important book I have read about storytelling, and nobody knows it. Thomas Astruc, “Miraculous” creator, is the one who told me about it. There is a lot of books about scenario, storyboard, but none of them will learn you how about filming. This book explain you how the great director put deep meaning in their filming. This book tells about the scenography in a sequence. It explain you how to put meanings everywhere in a story, from the background design, through the character design, and to the storyboard of course.

another book I like is : Story from Mc Kee:

http://www.mckeestore.com/Robert-McKees-book-STORY_p_11.html

Why this book in particular? because it is made from “the Poetic” from Aristote. It is a very shematic book, hard to read, just take your time, take notes, make some exercices from it to understand it. It learnt me a mental grammar about how to think about a story.

____

so: conclusion : I have done a whole feature film screenplay about this personal project. My design are really stronger because they are made from a proper and strong story. This is the most important advice I could give to you.

My deep meaning is : a good drawing means something, tell a story. A good drawing is a drawing that you have thought about before you have started to draw.

Then I can give you some advices about my method of course but believe me, they are nothing compared to thoss about storytelling:

_ gather a lot of documentation and materials when you want to create a design. avoiding cliché is knowling deeply your subject. As I m doing a story about russian revolution and I m not russian, I try to gather many many information about the russian history , russian mythology, russian revolution, russian clothesabout this century, russian people…. This is not only about esthetic materials but about feeling the whole picture of your subject. so you have to read a lot, not only gather pictures.

_ Avoid to follow the “mode” but mix it.^^

I suppose you know we can not create stuff from nothing. We have to start from some pointin Art. But :

To create a new and interesting stuff, you have to mix two ancients stuff (at least) , not starting from only one influence.

My graphic style is a mix between many many influences. I don’t do “japanese stuff”, or “disney stuff”, or “comics stuff”, or “european stuff”, I have mixed everything I have learnt in my life.

Try to stay very curious of all kind of influences ; not only animation but Art in general, litterature, arcitecture, cinema, travelling, history of Arts (I have a History of art 2nd college degree which helps me a lot in my graphic researches). Try to stay open minded in every kind of cultures.

By example : Tezuka, creator of the manga, was very influenced by Disney. Kurosawa, best director ever, was very influenced by american cinema, georges lucas was very influenced by Kurosawa when he did Star Wars…..etc…

Try to discover as many art pieces as you can, never give up that in you whole life to stay inspired.

Personally I ma big fan of History, History of Arts, History of whatever in general. This is the main material I use for my work.^^

For that purpose , try to read many books, old books, shakespeare, Dostoievski, Homere, mythology books, whatever you want but really meaningfull books not only recent best seller(which are great of course^^ but do not focus only on them). this is a main part of your work , this is not lazyness don’t worry^^

same for movies: you can not tell good stories if you have nothing to tell :D : take the time to watch as many movies as you can, this is a main part of your work , this is not lazyness don’t worry^^  :

here some directors I love:

_ Kurosawa

_ Melville

_ Jonnhie To

_ Zemeckis

_ Nicolas Winding Refn

_ Mc Tiernam

_ Kurick

_ Takahata

_ Spielberg

My favorite movies :

_ Pusher II

_ Silence of the lambs

_ Benhur

_ Dersu Uzala

_ 10 commandements

_ Spartacus

_ Rush

_ Ikiru

_ Yojimbo

_ Kaguya princess

_ Munich

_ Mad max fury road

_ die hard 1

_ Hardboiled

_ A.I.

_ Contact


_ Compare yourself with the best artists in the world, not with your classmate in your artschool. If you want to be the best, and do the best production, be demanding and challenge yourself. Comapre your stuff to Pixar, Laika, Dreamworks, oldschool japanese mangaka and animator, ancient painters. Ask yourself why they are better than me? What should I do to improve myself? a lot of answer are not in the esthetic way but in the storytelling way believe me.^^

_ Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid to bother professional artists, show your work to professional as much as you can, ask them advice, be respectful with them and do whatever they will tell you to do to improve yourself. The only way to thank a teacher or a professional who helps you is to work harder and to follow his advices hardly.

_ Work full time, this is like a olympic game, this is serious : you have to be the best to get that kind of extremely competitive job. You need to implicate yourself a lot. You need to find a routine, you can’t work part time for this job. stay very implicated, stay extremely enthousiast.

_ To become better than other, that’s simple : work twice, triple more than other students. really. When a teacher, your boss seems satisfied, it does not have to be the end of the job.You have to impress people, not only satisfied them. Even if your boss seems satisfied, continue to improve your work after the deadline, until it is really great.

_believe in your potential but stay humble all your life, even after school, keep learning form others, never think you are the best.

Let’s stop for now, I hope it will help you and others people who wants to improve themself :)

The Moonlight Witch’s Top 10 anime of 2016: Part Three

3. Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri on Ice was one of the anime I was most strongly anticipating prior to the fall season. This show is the pet project of Sayo Yamamoto, one of the most talented directors working in anime at the moment and whose previous work I have greatly enjoyed. Typically Yamamoto’s work is more adult-orientated and artistic in nature than most anime so while I was expecting to enjoy Yuri on ice I wasn’t really expecting it to be a success outside of niche communities. Surprisingly the anime community proved me wrong with Yuri on Ice becoming one of the top sellers of the year and arguably the year’s most loved show. And I’m glad for that because it’s hard to think of a show that deserved it more.

The strongest theme Yuri on Ice has is love. And it’s easy to see that that theme of love came directly from its creators. Love permeates every aspect of this production and if I was awarding prizes based purely on how much passion creators poured into their work Yuri on ice would undeniably take the top spot. Everything about this show is so lovingly crafted, the characters, the artwork and the thought poured into their storylines. There was so much love given to this work and so much effort as well. Even as the show’s production began to crumble the animators kept stubbornly animating ice skating scenes which are extremely difficult for animators to create, speaking to the level of caring and effort put into this production.

Nowhere is that love clearer than with Yuri on Ice’s characters. If I was to write a list featuring my favourite casts of the year this show would most definitely feature prominently. The shows protagonist Yuuri Katsuki particularly impressed me: insecure everyman protagonists are quite common but I don’t think I’ve ever met one as well written or relatable as this. Yuuri’s anxiety issues, in particular, are handled with surprising realism and grace, but they also aren’t the sole total of his character. Viktor Nikiforov also surprised me, initially coming across as a little one-dimensional until episode 10 expanded my understanding of him remarkably. And then, of course, there’s the angry kitten Yuri Plisetsky who undoubtedly won character of the year in my heart. But it’s not just the main trio that made this cast so notable: the show does an excellent job of endearing us to all the characters that appear and giving them their own personalities and motivations, to the point where I and many viewers were deeply conflicted over who to root for during the final competition!

And then, of course, there’s one of the most remarkable things about this show, the thing that undoubtedly attracted the most speculation and attention and one of the things that makes this show truly special: a canonically gay couple as one of the primary focuses in a mainstream genre show. Teasing same-sex couples in anime is nothing new of course but for a show to go and make such a couple undeniably canon is incredibly rare. And Yuri on Ice isn’t a niche show at all: it’s one of the most popular anime of the year and a show that gained attention even outside of the anime community. A show where two men are unambiguously in a relationship, in a world where homophobia canonically does not exist was one of the most popular and well-made shows of the year. It’s easy to see why this is so remarkable and how much it means to so many people.

There’s a lot I could write about Yuri on Ice, and honestly, some of that would be negative. A lot of this show could have been improved on, from animation to plot progression but really to me, it didn’t matter. There are very few things that have made me as emotional watching them as Yuri on Ice, to the point that I honestly don’t want to tear it apart or even mildly critique it. I loved this show. So many people loved this show. And it’s so easy to see why.

2. Natsume Yuujinchou Go

Natsume Yuujinchou Go was another show whose airing I was highly anticipating. In fact, it speaks greatly of the quality of the number one show on this list that this show did not take the top spot. Natsume Yuujinchou is a franchise that kind of swept me off my feet. While I’m not picky about shows I watch, gentle slice-of-life things don’t generally feature heavily in my favourite shows lists. Fortunately however Natsume is so much more than that.

Natsume Yuujinchou is first and foremost an intimate character drama. It may not look it at first and it may not be as obvious or dramatic a character-driven show as most others but the slow gentle character development Natsume Takashi goes through over the course of the show is at the heart of the series. Natsume Yuujinchou doesn’t have melodramatic speeches or moments to make this obvious but when you look at our main character over the course of the show it’s remarkable how much he has grown, changing from someone perpetually lonely to being surrounded by people he cares for.

Natsume starts the show incredibly isolated and alienated from both the worlds he finds himself in. As a human who can see Yokai, he finds himself constantly alone seeing things that no one else can see and often being called a liar or strange because of it. But as a human, he can never truly fit in the world of Yokai either. Slowly over the course of the series Natsume finds people he can confide in, people who don’t understand him but love him anyway and even develops close relationships with many Yokai. As this goes on Natsume evolves from someone lonely and closed off to someone who can share his life with others.

By the current, fifth season Natsume’s world has evolved drastically. By this stage, Natsume has been thoroughly drawn into the unusual world of exorcists, but despite the fact that in many ways these are people who see the world as he does Natsume finds he does not truly fit here either. Many of the exorcists Natsume encounters are incredibly bitter about how their experiences with yokai have isolated them from human society, but despite his troubles Natsume lacks that same bitterness. He has a strong sense of empathy for both humans and yokai and is uncomfortable with the hardline and sometimes cruel approach that exorcists often take with them. More than that Natsume is beginning to discover that the world of exorcism has some very strict rules and they don’t always gel with his own encounters with the world of Yokai.

But even as the tension filled situation between Natsume and the exorcists develops Natsume Yuujinchou never loses sight of its roots. This is a show fuelled by small moments and intimate interactions between people - not plot. One of the best episodes in Natsume Go takes us right back to the beginning, telling us the story of how Natsume came to live in his foster parents household through the perspective of his foster mother Fujiwara Touko. It’s a heartwrenching episode contrasting the person Natsume has become against the lonely neglected child he once was and reminding us how remarkable it is that Natsume has developed to become the kind, empathic person he is today. And it’s incredibly touching to see Natsume from the perspective of someone who is blind to the world of Yokai, seeing only the occasional oddness in his behaviour - but who loves him unconditionally even if they don’t fully understand him. It is in small moments like this that Natsume Yuujinchou truly shines.

Natsume Yuujinchou is an excellent series and one I would recommend everyone try at some point. I’m delighted to see this manga return to animation after a gap of more than four years and ecstatic to hear that it has been renewed for a sixth season. Try Natsume Yuujinchou out. Even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea it might end up surprising you.

1. Mob Psycho 100

And here it is, the final, and top show on the list, and I honestly could not think of a show more deserving than this one to award the top spot. Mob Psycho 100 was one of the most highly anticipated anime of the year, both by me and by the anime community at large. It drew attention largely for being animated by studio BONES who are well known for their incredible productions and for being written by ONE the mangaka behind the incredibly popular One Punch Man. I enjoyed One Punch Man quite a bit. It was a fun and well-made series and it ended the year as No. 6 on my 2015 top shows list. Therefore is says quite a lot about Mob Psycho 100 that for me it blew One Punch Man out of the water.

Mob Psycho 100 is a triumph of a show. Everything in it is top tier, animation, art direction, storytelling, it’s hard to think of a single thing this show could have done better. The animation for Mob Psycho is not simply just “good” - it’s done with top tier skill and artistry. Mob Psycho 100 is blessed with not one, but two of the most talented visual artists in the medium: Yuzuru Tachikawa who in addition to Mob Psycho directed my last years No. 3 show Death Parade and Yoshimichi Kameda one of the best current animators who among other things has worked on Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Evangelion 3.0. The talent shows. Mob Psycho 100 is not simply just well animated - it’s beautifully stylish faithfully depicting the original manga’s aesthetic, while updating it with beautiful artwork, to deliver a visual smorgasbord of talent.

However, all the beautiful animation in the world can’t save a show that is otherwise mediocre - fortunately, Mob Psycho 100 has so much more to offer than just animation. Its characters are some of the best written and most fully realised in anime. Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama is an incredibly sympathetic and appealing protagonist, but more than that he’s also a wonderfully deep character - a complex mix of many different traits from painful obliviousness to startling awareness and teenage awkwardness to repressed stoicism. It was wonderful to watch him struggle and grow as a person.

And the characters surrounding him are appealing as well. His “mentor” and endearing disaster of a human being Reigen Arataka has grown to be an immensely popular character for obvious reasons, none of the least of which is his surprisingly touching relationship with Mob. In addition, the relationship Mob has with his younger brother Ritsu proves to be surprisingly complex and kicks off most of the drama in the second half of the show. The side characters are appealing as well - the show ends by revisiting most of the minor characters that appeared throughout its run and I was surprised by how delighted I was to see most of them again. I’d particularly like to note Tome for making quite an impression on me despite not getting much screen time.

Mob Psycho’s themes are no less compelling. The story grapples with so many different thoughts and ideas, dealing with the mental health issues of a protagonist who has repressed his emotions with surprising realism, the complex mix of love and bitterness that can arise in relationships between siblings and the true nature of power and whether power actually matters. Probably the strongest theme in Mob Psycho 100 is the idea that having supernatural powers doesn’t make you special - or at least no more special than someone who has some other talent like intelligence or charisma. And it comes down strongly on the idea that perhaps the best trait a person can have is simply being kind to others

The true nature of power is analysed strongly through the character Reigen who is utterly powerless, and yet is one of the most significant characters in the show. Reigen commands attention from others through sheer (often feigned) confidence - and in this world, the illusion of power is a kind of power itself. Mob himself also exemplifies this by being someone who feels he has nothing but psychic powers, which despite being phenomenal have brought him little but trouble and have only fuelled his desire to fit into regular society. Another recurring trend in this show is villains who feel that their psychic abilities set them apart and make them special - only to crumble when confronted with someone more powerful than them, and reveal how pathetic they are underneath their abilities. Mob Psycho’s themes stand in sharp contrast to many other shows that prop up their protagonists for being “special” or “different” - this show is far more interested in praising mundane things, like simply being kind to other people.

Mob Psycho 100 is a show I came into with high expectations and which fully blew all of them away. It’s an incredibly stunning piece of work with awe-inspiring animation, fascinating and endearing characters and a plethora of thematic material. It was easily my favourite show of the year despite facing incredibly good competition and I am more than happy to award it my top spot for 2016.

(part one) (part two)

cityofclockworkstars  asked:

Hey! I just wanted to say that your art is amazing and I would LOVEEEEE TO BE ABLE TO DRAW LIKE YOU!!!!! Do you have any tips to give to someone who's drawings look like a three year olds?! Seriously though you're so good!!! <333

hello! thank you so much! well i have a bunch of tips that’s gotten to where i am today so here we go 

1) everyone starts off really shit 

(2010) vs (2015) 

as you can see, the first ones are hideous, i had no sense of anatomy, i never referenced anything and it was just really ugly. 5 years of drawing has made it look less hideous :)

2) Get really obsessed with a series. the more passionate you are, the better. Copy as much as you can.

^ look at that. this was in the same sketchbook i drew in the first picture, in 2010. Just by copying, it was miles better than whatever the first pic was, simply because i had reference. 

3) Learn from yo reference. fill up at least 7 sketchbooks. stalk your favourite artists. watch their livestreams, learn from their tutorials.

See an artwork you like? Or a screenshot of an anime/manga/cartoon/tvshow you really like? Copy it! Is it shit? Copy it again! There will be a noticeable improvement as you realize where you went wrong in your first attempt.

However if you’re copying artworks, don’t publish them online and claim them as your own. Copying only serves as a teaching device, so don’t plagiarize. 

A good way to start is to learn from kelpls’s tutorials. Try copy everything you see. heres some more tutorials  

artists/mangaka that have influenced me/good to learn from

Johannathemad/ old xian/ amano akira/ Alicexz/seventypercentethanol, andatsea, yuumeikino hinoki / miyukiko (more artists)

4) When you're good enough, invest in a tablet. Get your favourite artist’s brush settings and photoshop brushes and experiment! 

When you’re ready to make the $300 dive, invest in a tablet. After that, buy/download Paint Tool SAI and Photoshop CS6 (or whatever art program, but SAI is the easiest for beginners). Start learning digital art after you have had a solid art foundation from all the sketchbook practice. 

5) Draw with persistence, hard work, and passion. Get people to critique your work, put your pride aside and actually listen to them, then fix your mistakes. How good you are at art is gauged by how well you can find mistakes in your work, and successfully correct them. Don’t give up.

If you want to get good at something, you have to keep doing it and not give up. People are always telling me that they would love to learn how to draw like me, but then stop because they tried drawing something and haven’t seen results yet- ‘why doesn’t my artwork look like yours even though I’ve been drawing for a solid 5 minutes? I don’t get it! It’s too hard! *never touches a pencil again*’ Not a single person who asked me how to draw actually properly meant it, and no one was willing to put in the effort required. I only got here from years and years of drawing every day, it’s not an overnight thing. This applies to all things in life as well, just saying you want to be good at something is just lip service- just go do it! 

Believe me when i say anyone can become good at art. The only difference is who is willing to spend the time and who isn’t. Even people without artistic talent, they can become great too- the word ‘talent’ is just an excuse to not even try. Talent doesn’t get you a long way if you give up, people who work hard will surpass them when they stop. 

The more passionate and devoted you are, the faster you’ll learn, and the better you’ll get. Be open minded to a range of styles whether it be realism or cartoony, learn them all! 

Hope I helped! x 

2010

2015

Summer Time Record (5 Years Later) AU

I have been thinking of an AU of the Mekakushi Dan after the event of Summer Time Record, and the time period is 5 years later, when all the members have found suitable jobs to work permanently. (And because I am trash so don’t blame me for making this kind of AU that contains both hetero and BL couples. I tried to work with my most common sense here you know.)

Summary:

  • KanoKido: Kido’s a cook and Kano’s a waiter. They live together.
  • HibiMomo: Hibiya’s a high school student and Momo’s an idol. Still having a crush on each other without confessing though.
  • HaruTaka: Haruka’s an artist/game characters designer and Takane’s a gamer. They are not dating. Yet.
  • SetoShin: Seto’s a freelancer who would take any jobs and Shintaro’s a gamer like Takane. They also live together.
  • Mary is a BL mangaka/doujinka/novelist.

If you are interested in this AU then read more for detailed description.

Keep reading

harurin doujin rec v. 2.0

I noticed that the ask I got a long while ago about my favourite harurin doujin started going around again, which reminded me of how outdated it was. While visiting saerigraphie a couple weeks back, we talked about the reasons for getting attached to certain doujinshi, and how our tastes gradually evolve – in other words, what we look for in doujin can and does change over time. However, while I might hold onto some of the doujin from this era just for nostalgia’s sake, there’s not much informational value in recommending such work. This is why I figured I should put together a more updated version of my harurin doujin tastes, which focuses more on specific artists who I feel offer a broad range of themes and stories in the fandom.

I decided to feature everyone who’s managed to accumulate a lot of works in my collection, and what kind of an audience I would recommend them to. Because save for a few exceptions, I wouldn’t necessarily rec each artist without reserve – as I mentioned, we all have different reasons for reading doujin, so finding a doujinka who matches your tastes is always the key. I hope my experiences might offer some idea of their individual “charm points”.

Disclaimer: I’m not a super expert doujin connoisseur who can visit every event for every new title, but rather someone who’s killed their knees way too many times shuffling through the shelves of Mandarake and Kbooks for back catalogues. This is also not a critical list, out of respect for the following doujinka as creators of fanwork – in the end they are still normal fans just like you and me, so whether they’d ever actually stumble across this post, I’d rather make a rec list that celebrates their strengths instead of complaining about what I personally might not like as much.

AMBITIOUS, ATMOSPHERIC, ARTISTIC: zatta, solafana, prinz yori

Each of the following three doujinka display a certain ambitious attitude towards their work that I really admire. Their payoff is not always in R18 but the emotional content of the works, plus the overall style (art, panels, pacing) is often right on par with published work.

zatta: probably the most well-known doujinka in the harurin fandom, and not without reason. I’m currently trying to get my hands on the first issue of her harurinpics trilogy, because that whole work basically summarizes zatta to a T: putting in the effort of creating a ridiculously long, slow-burn story with amazing attention to detail. Most of her doujin features R18 content which is a definite A++ because it’s usually in the context of a story, not just pwp. However, while I love works like Snow Globe and the aforementioned trilogy, I also really like Meet Mermaid because it is pure crack and shows her more playful side (you can read more about it here).

solafana: possibly my personal favourite, because I really love her art style. I’m still missing a couple of her doujin, but the way these subtle stories are constructed reminds me of some of my favourite BL mangaka, which says a lot; there’s a real down-to-earth feel to her stories, which makes them feel strangely rewarding even when there’s no R18 (Sonna karera no kankei-sei being one of the few exceptions, which is why it’s probably my favourite haha). I’m really sad that they apparently don’t really do doujin anymore, because you can feel the love for the characters through these everyday stories. 

prinz yori: arguably the most ~artistic of the bunch. yori deals a lot with themes of childhood and growing up, which combined with their style gives each story a kind of timeless atmosphere. They’re not stories for instant gratification (or R18), but exploration of character dynamics, since introspection is really the key here. Because I have a soft spot for travelling, 好敵手と逃亡 might be my favourite, but only until I have time to unearth all nuance from the rest – Yori is basically the reason I want to improve my reading comprehension, haha.

QUIRKY, FUNNY, LOTS OF R18: croceca, masumiwataru, hemu

The next is a group of artists who I enjoy for reasons far simpler to the previous three: they’re guilty pleasures without the guilt, because I have no qualms about saying I enjoy their brand of humour and inventive R18, which clearly comes from a place of love towards the subject material. So what’s not to appreciate?

croceca: I guess in a way you could say croceca is the most “normal” of these three, but this doesn’t make them at all boring. Even the stories that don’t feature sex have something unexpected and funny (like Present For You! which sounds like a R18 maid scenario but features maid Rin uppercutting Haru in the solar plexus), and you can tell croceca’s probably gone to Iwami because of the backgrounds (though realistically speaking nobody would walk all the way to that Famima just to buy uhm… well, you’ll see). I’m always excited to find one of their doujinshi, because they’re often a definite Adventure.

masumiwataru: that being said, the queen of Adventure is probably masumiwataru. It actually wasn’t until saerigraphie requested I pick up their latest Comiket release that I realized masumiwataru was also to blame for the funniest doujin in the world, i.e. Rin-sensei to Make Love Eikaiwa. No, honestly. If you only read one R18 Harurin doujin in your life, it has to be that one. Basically, masumiwataru’s speciality is sex doujin that are also hilarious. It’s not all they do, but they’re certainly capable of making you enjoy even the weirdest of themes (like that one Future Fish AU sarah showed me orz) because it’s just so funny.

hemu: Fun fact, hemu’s circle Karhu means bear in finnish. Maybe this is why it took me a while to warm up to them (there are some… interesting kinks in the older stuff lmao), but I ended up pledging loyalty when I realized just how funny a sense of humour hemu also has. There’s a lot of visual jokes and almost slapstick-like scenes in their later work, plus the style is quirky enough to always catch my eye. Plus I will never stop laughing at Haru’s snow globe phone charm in aquatic animal, sorry. Comedy gold

Of course, this is not the be-all and end-all of harurin doujin. If you’re looking for something with an edge, try out Oshinobee; if you’d rather steer clear from R18 and like soft linework with subtle introspection, I would suggest MGN. For a wide range of stories, maybe hit up Skyjack. Ah man, it’s really hard to end a list when you start one, which is why I think I’ll end here before it gets out of hand, because there’s tons of great harurin artists out there, and I’ve left out many whom others probably really enjoy. But the above six are some that I’ve currently enjoyed a lot, and will make a conscious effort of keeping up with the future, so in that regard they’re a good representation of my harurin doujin rec list v. 2.0. Maybe it’ll change again in the future when my interests shift, and there’s obviously individual gems I haven’t listed too, but these are more or less the artists I really enjoy right now the most.

anonymous asked:

It's funny that you pretend to know everything about Japan, when you're not even Japanese. You're a foreigner obsessed with Japan like most Americans are, except you took it one step further and went there. You're a gaijin and nothing else and most Japanese probably detest you.

Ahahahahaha, oh boy, I was just waiting for an Anon like this to show up. And there I was already thinking the critical levels of idiocy on this website had possibly gone back, but, nope, you showed up, Anon. Welp, time to play a game of BS-Buster!

It’s funny that you pretend to know everything about Japan, when you’re not even Japanese.

I am a student of Japanology, also known as Japanese Studies, the field of studies usually studied by future diplomats, communication-scientists, translators and many more job fields specialized in allowing the cultures to communicate fluently with Japan. I have studied for 7 semesters, one of which I spent in Japan and I am about to spend a second semester in Japan. I have absolved courses on Japanese Language, History, Culture, Society, Minorities, Religion, Literature and more. The staff on my faculty is mixed and has at least 6 native Japanese women, several of which I have been taught by in courses and lectures before, so a lot of the things I state here come from these women. I never had trouble with my studies, have been noted as a very critical, interested student by my lecturers and could have gotten my bachelor one semester ago, but held it back in order to carry out my exchange stay in Japan, which is necessary to gain the expertise needed to carry on the studies into the Master courses. I successfully gained a scholarship on the Tokyo Metropolitan University, which would not have been possible if the staff of my faculty hadn’t vouched for my qualification for such a stay. As such, I detest your statement immensely. 

The idea that one can only understand a culture by being fully part of said culture is ridiculous and a crucial misinformation race-separation-elitist spread to further their cause. It furthers misunderstandings, hatred, and bad relationships between nations in business, economy, tourism and politics. It is also ridiculous, since “culture” is, in fact, fluent and you can never draw clear lines between cultures, only roughly group them, same as languages. For this reason, the cultural sciences have been contributing to help people communicate between the cultures, making use of their fluency to improve understanding. In other words: Without people like me, there would likely be a WHOLE lot more trans-cultural troubles in this world. Discredit my field as much as you want, us humanities students are used to being discredited, but don’t pretend doing so makes you especially smart. Trust me, it doesn’t. Smarter people than you have failed at logically discrediting the humanities before, with much better arguments.

I have never pretended to know everything about Japan, in fact, I rejected several questions I received on the basis that I had neither experience nor studied, reliable knowledge on the respective subject. It is, in fact, IMPOSSIBLE to know everything about Japan, even for Japanese people, as there is simply too much to know and claiming all Japanese people were the same would be a crude, horrible generalization which has no place in an academic field. Or would you go and claim you know everything about *your* culture? My special field is youth/pop subculture, but I still have to learn a lot in that field. I also know a lot about the subjects of femininity and minorities, since I took optional courses on them and have repeatedly discussed the subjects in seminars and with Japanese friends of mine. I would never call myself an expert, but I DO know quite a bit about what I’m talking about.

You’re a foreigner obsessed with Japan like most Americans are, except you took it one step further and went there. 

Isn’t it nice, how you compare me to American people when the closest I have ever come to even stepping onto American land in my whole life was a visit in an American Military Base in Japan? Congratulations, you just proved my point about Americanocentrism. If America is what you immediately feel the need to compare me to, it just proves my point that you cannot put anything into a context other than the American context. Either that, or you are actually not American yourself and just really clumsy about your choice of words, in which case you don’t really have a right to claim to know what Americans are like by your own logic, so: Congratulations for not stopping to think before you hit “send”. 

Should you be Japanese (which I kinda doubt, but, hey, it’s a possibility!) then you’re not the kind of Japanese person I try to usually associate with anyway (as exposed by your use of the word “gaijin” but I will get to that later), since I am really not interested in the separation of the cultures and building of walls, as the extremist right-wing peoples propagate. Maybe it’s because I was born out of a cross-cultural marriage and thus owe trans-cultural thinking my life, but I’m never gonna agree with the idea that cultures should be separate, shouldn’t try to explore each other and never mix. 

Obsessed? Why, yeah, sure. Most passionate scientists are obsessed with their subject. Unhealthily. I am like that, I will not deny that. However, the difference between my obsession and the kind of crazy obsession where you idealize everything to the utmost is that I am obsessed with learning, critically analyzing, seeing the light and shadow sides and finding out how they connect and are to be associated and what exactly the *spectrum of tendencies* within the culture is, rather than finding “absolute facts” that pretty much say X=X, because a culture of people is always a SPECTRUM and trying to find undeniable facts that apply to every individual within said culture is unprofessional and, to be frankly, just plain stupid. The exact kind of stupidity that tumblr just loves to indulge in, so, congrats for proving another of my points! 
I am obsessed with Japan, but I do not idolized the country. I stopped doing that when I was, like, eleven years old. I do not wish to change my name to “Hikaru Momoba”, dye my hair pink and move to Tokyo to work as a Mangaka, because then my life would be ‘perfect’. That’s just dumb. Japan is a society and culture like every other and deserves to be viewed and studied and communicated with as such, and I am frankly sick of people either absorbing it into their own cultural context without critically thinking about the implications, or raising it onto a podium and worshiping it. Has humanity forgotten how to be critical? Oh wait, that’s just the internet, silly me. Except it isn’t. 

You’re a gaijin and nothing else and most Japanese probably detest you.

Your use of the word “gaijin” exposes you as someone who likely read 1-2 articles on Japanese society and thought that makes them smart, so you are incredibly hypocritical with this whole message. As “gaijin” is an offensive word, since it literally means “outsider”, as in “someone who doesn’t belong here”, most Japanese outside of the Anonymous Internet Culture of 2chan and the likes use “gaikokujin”, which is a far more neutral term for “foreigner”, and has far less negative implications. 

Of course, again, there is also the possibility of you being Japanese, in which case, read above, I do not want to associate with the mindset that would freely use the term “gaijin”. Though, if you are that kind of Japanese person, it makes me very surprised at your fluent English, since these people (in any culture) don’t usually invest that much time into perfecting their foreign languages, so either you are very linguistically talented (which would be such a waste of talent), had a different reason for learning English, or, most possibly, you are simply not Japanese either. In which case, why are you using the word “gaijin”? Because you don’t know the implications and/or are just trying to sound pointed and smart. That’s why. 

Also, “most Japanese people probably hate me”. Hah. You know, funny story. When I went to Japan, I was scared. I thought I would face troubles and discrimination for my nationality and not-yet-fluent Japanese. Oh boy, was I surprised when I actually arrived. In my half year in Japan, I was faced with FAR LESS racism than I am faced with typically in everyday life in my native Austria. I have no idea if it’s because I blend in well with the Japanese crowd (My body height and skin tone are closer to the Asian than the European, thanks to be being an European/Arabic mix), but I think many people simply don’t realize I’m a foreigner until they look me directly in the face. And even when they do, I don’t usually face trouble for this reason. It’s probably because I live in Minami-Oosawa, an area used to exchange students thanks to the University, but I was treated as every other customer in the stores and people did not treat me strangely on the streets. On Campus, I was frequently adressed in the cafeterias, asked where I came from, how I liked Japan, where I learned to speak Japanese, for how long I have been in Japan (and most people expressed surprise that it’s only been a few months and told me they judged me as far more experienced with the society and language)… I even had older men look at me in amazement before and ask me how I learned to use chopsticks like that, since they were surprised a “gaikokujin” could eat rice with them. I dunno about “most Japanese”, but the Japanese I have met were most generally far less xenophobic than you seem to assume, rather, many seemed fascinated by the fact that someone would invest so much time into studying their culture and trying to treat it with respect. Even as I went into different areas of Tokyo. Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Hachioji, I was met with kindness everywhere I go and people would frequently express happy surprise at my ability to speak Japanese, even though my grammar sucks. The only place where I *did* receive weird stares in certain shops was, surprise, surprise, Akihabara. Yes, our “beloved” Otaku Mekka. And even there it was only in privately owned stores which’s owners seemed like they were permanently grumpy. I have yet to move outside of Tokyo. Maybe I will be met with more animosity there. And if so, so what? People are not an hive mind. They can think what they want. If they don’t want to associate with me, I don’t want to associate with them either. Simple. But I have yet to encounter a single Japanese individual who outright didn’t want to talk to me, so your “hypothesis” is vastly unfounded so far. 

While I am not a very social individual and really bad at keeping up relationships, I *do* have some friends in Japan, who I frequently spent time with outside of classes and exchanged experiences and cultural ideas with. It was always highly interesting and taught me a lot. I also have one best friend, with whom I got onto “-chan” name basis (Which SHE initiated by asking me to change name basis, not me), with whom I spent many happy afternoons shopping in Tokyo and many happy evenings fooling around with our bought goods in our rooms. Never was there even a hint of discord or dissent between us and she even invited be to stay at her family’s place in summer and wants to come to visit me in Austria one day.

Additionally, the person who made the original rant of the post I responded to which most likely brought here was a Japanese trans-woman, and she thanked me for my contribution before she deleted all her posts once more and left this god forsaken site for good. 

Guess what? Trans-cultural communication is possible, is interesting, is intellectually challenging and is FUN if you invest into it. Your assumptions offend me on a deep level, since they discredit the bonds I have forged and the effort I have invested. Frankly, you are the kind of individual I do not want to associate with. I just felt I needed to get all this off my soul, because, really, I need something to present if I ever get more of these messages. There will be more. I know this is tumblr.

But for the next week, I’m just going to block-delete all further messages of this kind I get. I have no wish to communicate with you. Keep living in your sad, generalizing, barrier-filled reality if you want to. I will keep living in mine.

That would be all.

anonymous asked:

Reasons why you like AnS? (A detailed explanation please. You can answer this whenever you're really free lol)

This took me forever to reply, but it’s mostly because I find it hard to answer. xD There are many reasons why I like it, but I had to condense everything into a few points (my essay-writing days in school sure come in handy!).

The art
Akizuki Sorata-sensei’s art improves over the course of this manga, as do most mangaka, but the transformation is very obvious, from some awkward-looking characters to fluid character movements, and the designs of the costumes and setting also improved in detail and style. At the beginning of the manga the wasn’t too spectacular, but now her style has become unique, and is a pleasure for the eye to behold.

The story
Now, at first I didn’t really enjoy the story. I was still young then (14 to 15, I think), and I was more interested in stories that rush forth and hit you with developments. For a while I dropped the manga at the Tanbarun arc (around chapter 26), but picked it up a year later when my mindset had matured a little. The story still moved slowly, but its charm was more obvious then. The developments of the story is patient, and doesn’t rush forth for a reason: character. Character, character, character. The characters run the story. Not the events around them, not a sudden plot twist, but the interactions between characters, the decisions they make, and the relationships they have. The series also has some subtlety which I only came to realise after I started translating it, and I’m sad to say that some of the charm actually gets lost when it’s translated into English.

The characters
As I’ve mentioned above, the characters are the biggest charm of the series. AnS is a character-driven story, and how can that be done without some round and complex characters? No one is completely good or bad (except a few minor characters), and they all have their reasons and histories to explain their actions or beliefs. Characters that seem mean or ruthless eventually become stunning personalities we love (who else hated Izana at first?). They are also sometimes eccentric, resulting in most of the series’ comedy. Even new characters would grow on you (the Lyrias team was and is still great, and ain’t Lata a darling?).

The simplicity
This series is not all that simple to be honest (there are the politics, for one), but the way it handles its situation and characters is simple and clear. There isn’t a great big force stopping them from their goals or anything, just small little hurdles that they gradually cross one at a time. For the manga world, and specifically shoujo, there is a sea of drama with complications about love life, school life, scandals, etc., and AnS is actually a good escape from all that. It’s like trying to show everyone that, “Well, I don’t have a lot of drama here, but it’s still a good story you can enjoy, no?” Also, even as a fantasy series, AnS doesn’t have many fantastical elements. When we talk about fantasy we assume magic or special powers, but AnS is a very down-to-earth kind of fantasy with none of that. They are people with understandable problems and issues, and it’s always a delight to see how everyone overcomes that.