Notes for a young character designer

Dear E. 

Thanks for your email.

I don’t work at Cartoon Network any more. But I’m going to give you a very quick portfolio review in hopes that you find it helpful! Here are some things I noticed when looking at your stuff - lessons I learned from brilliant people while working on AT for two years: 

 1) AVOID SYMMETRY. Humans are organic, randomly shaped animals. Perfect symmetry rarely exists in nature and if it does, it’s conspicuous - it’s the exception rather than the rule. Find interesting ways to throw your characters off-balance. 

Don’t repeat objects in twos - (buttons or rips or whatever) - it feels prescribed - cluster things in threes or fives if necessary. 

 2) AVOID CONCAVITY - I don’t know what else to call this. But it’s those lines that go “in” rather than “out”. You are using inward sloping lines to describe many of your characters. As an exercise, try using outward, rounded, voluminous lines to draw EVERYTHING. Humans are fleshy lumps connected together by other fleshy lumps. Each mass is either in front of or behind other masses and as a designer, it’s your job to tell the animator where it is. As a designer, you are providing a technical blueprint for the location of masses. 

Only occasionally allow a concavity to connect two convexities. Look at the work of Robert Ryan Cory (spongebob), Tom Herpich (Adventure Time) or Phil Rynda (AT / Gravity Falls) - master character designers - for examples of this. If you need to, trace a couple of their drawings and you will see what I mean. 

 3) AVOID GRAPHIC DETAILS - Some shows use a graphic style; it’s very appealing and looks clever when done right. But in animation, everything needs to move in space - so if you use a graphic element - it needs to correspond with an actual 3D thing that can move. Therefore it is better to start with a voluminous style and then revert to graphic elements where appropriate. Art directors will look for this. Do not jump straight to graphic representation if you do not yet know what you are representing.

Look at the work of Tiffany Ford and Jasmin Lai for amazing examples of volume expressed graphically.

 4) STUDY JAMES MCMULLEN - To truly understand volume, and fully respect your subject, you should read very carefully High Focus Figure Drawing by James McMullen. Slow down and think about drawing “around” your subjects. It’s a truly meditative experience when you get there. Think about the weight and mass that your characters, props and effects are experiencing. Many students from SVA - Tomer Hanuka, Becky Cloonan, Rebecca Sugar, James Jean - studied under McMullen’s philosophy and you can see this common richness in their work. 

Jeffrey Smith, a top student of McMullen’s now teaches life drawing at Art Center. These are two of the best illustration schools in North America - anyone who is interested in drawing living things, should probably read his book. Also look at the work of Andy Ristaino or Danny Hynes - two other character designers’ whose work is seething with volume. 

I hope this is useful and I hope you have a wonderful career. 



A quick review: Future refused to meet Russell, lied about child support & custody on twitter, publicly called Ciara a bitch, wrote multiple songs trashing her and this

is all it takes to redeem him? Nigga wrote 2 run-on sentences and suddenly he’s not a trash ass human being anymore. She literally had to take him to court to see his son regularly and y’all want her to wish him a happy father’s day and ready to talk shit if she doesn’t? Y’all love to make Ci the villain.Get the entire fuck outta here.

Why the Rolling Stone's Fansplaining of Harry Styles Misses the Point
Saskia Postema, Contributor

It is safe to say that almost the entire world has recently been exposed to the solo debut of Harry Styles, member of the band One Direction. While he was not the first one to start up a solo project – Zayn Malik left the band in 2015 to pursue a solo career, whereas both Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson released solo material in 2016 – he was, perhaps after Zayn’s dramatic departure, the most hyped and anticipated artist out of the original bandmembers.

It’s been two weeks since Harry released his incredibly successful #1 debut single, Sign of the Times, which leads his self-titled LP that will hit stores on the 12th of May. Subsequently, critics have been quick to write their reviews, labeling the rock anthem as an epic song that establishes Harry as a credible artist. Part of the promotional roll-out of Harry’s debut seems to be centered around the cultivation of that notion: Harry Styles is to be seen as an authentic, honest, yet mysterious, credible musician. Given the fact that Rolling Stone profiles itself as the market-leading music magazine when it comes to crediting such artistry, it was to be expected that a profile and cover issue of Harry Styles would follow suit.

In a companion piece, Rolling Stone published a so-called ‘fansplaining’ column on their website – delving into the fanbase that has supported Harry Styles throughout the years, probably aimed at gauging their reaction to his debut. An interesting take, given the fact that the journalistic lens of Rolling Stone seems to focus mostly around discrediting the opinion of young women, particularly those who have been avid fans of the music that One Direction has put out in previous years, and who have supported Harry and his peers throughout that time. Aside from the fact that such an understanding of music is abhorrently misogynist, as it values the middle-aged white male’s opinion as somehow more legitimate than those of women (even when those women were able to recognize the artist’s talent years prior to those men who were blinded by their fragile masculinity), the article also failed to do what it intended: Explain what makes these fans so loyal to their idol.

There seems to be a deep-rooted misunderstanding of the relationship between fans and the artist they support, starting with the idea that all fans are the same. They are not. As such, many internal disagreement can exist within a fandom, while all maintaining the same admiration for the artist. It should be clear that fans are perhaps, aside from the artist themselves, the most critical of the output provided. People might find that contradictory, but I have found this to be true amongst many different groups of fans. It is similar to having a best friend that loves you unconditionally, but that will set you straight and call you out on your mistakes when you stumble. Fans are there to help the artist along, but that doesn’t mean they will not hesitate to analyze, criticize and educate their idol as well as their peers if they feel this is necessary. Such criticism stems from the expectations they have formed about said output products. Most fans will distinguish between music on the one hand, and image on the other hand. This is separate from the expectations and perception fans have from their idol’s personality. However, they will expect both music and image to reflect the personality of the artist – this is where the honesty comes into play.

For those who have been following One Direction’s career and musical development, the style of music chosen by Harry did not come as a surprise. In fact, while many reviewers seem to shy away from making the comparison, it seems that Harry’s music seems to progress most naturally out of the latest albums of One Direction. Songs like Walking in the Wind, If I Could Fly, or the slightly older Ready to Run and Where do Broken Hearts Go all reflect similar soft-rock vibes. It also fits the fans’ perception of what Harry’s personal taste in music is like, as he’s always hinted at big artists from the 70s and 80s as his big musical influences. His continuous rejection of explaining his lyricism is also consistent with the Harry fans have come to know and love over the years – he’s expressed many a times how much he values music as art. And art is interpreted by the person observing the artpiece, he likes that a song might give different people different perspectives, as long as it resonates, it’s enough.

This links back to image. In my view, many fans see Harry as fiercely protective of his private life. And with good reason, given how he had to grow up in the limelight – starting off on the X Factor, a reality show that is as much a storytelling drama series as it is a singing competition. However, this is also where there is a deep dissatisfaction amongst fans. Part of celebrity culture is providing the public with certain glimpses into your private life, and fans are quite ambivalent in their appreciation of this. On the one hand, fans want to see their idols be happy and have the opportunity to talk to them, or get to know them. On the other hand, fans recognize the flagrant violation of privacy in terms of stalkers, paparazzi and ‘inside sources’ speaking to the press.

In Harry’s case, this is where the dichotomy is most apparent. While he himself never speaks out about his private life or relationships, not even his friendships with other celebs such as Ed Sheeran, Alexa Chung or Nick Grimshaw; his private life has quite possibly been most speculated about and most prominent in tabloids out of all the One Direction members. Rolling Stone does an abysmal job at respecting the same mysteriousness they hail Harry for trying to uphold by filling in the blanks and pushing him to talk about relationships he’s chosen not to address in the past. Their leading title for their profile does not focus on the music, or him as a new solo artist, but rather on him ‘opening up about famous flings’. It is a common misconception that fans want to hear him say that he’s single, or want to know the ins and outs of who he beds. Rather, fans want to hear what makes Harry happy. They don’t want to marry him, they want to know if he’s hydrated and well loved by his family and friends – if he’s taken enough holidays and if there’s anything in particular he still wants to achieve or cross of his bucket list; that is if he has one. They want to hear him honour the fundamental friendships that underpin the appreciation and adoration fans carry for all One Direction members. They want to know what inspires him – not who. Does he order a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, or does he enjoy a Big Mac on cheat days? 

Similarly, many fans will find the sudden recognition by Rolling Stone and other acclaimed music reviewers to be bittersweet. While they will feel proud of Harry at seeing him succeed and get this approval, they also call it for what it is: a thinly-veiled rejection of One Direction and the Harry Styles prior to his solo debut. It is an honour to be hailed as the next David Bowie or Mick Jagger, but the line between inspiration and imitation is thin, which makes fans wary. What is more – the celebration of Harry’s apparent ‘new honesty and authenticity’ (again a rejection of his previous work) is rather awkward, when the reviews do not seem to provide Harry Styles with the room to be iconic as himself. They make sure to draw comparisons with a multitude of icons from the past, as if every choice he’s made has been infused with the mentality to emulate his predecessors. Fans want Harry to succeed by being true to who he is, and while his music gets recognition, it’s still not perceived as being something that is only fully Harry’s.Finally, it is important to not just address what fans expect from their idol, but also what they take away from them. In Rolling Stone, Harry Styles shared that what hurts him are fundamental issues that are lacking in today’s society – things like ‘equal rights, for everyone – all races, sexes, everything’. He’s a feminist, has been involved in the HeforShe campaign, and has expressed his support for LGBTQ+ as part of One Direction. He was frequently seen waving a rainbow flag in concerts, stated that ‘here at One Direction, we love love. Love is love,’ and has worn rainbow bracelets – most recently even a rainbow pin proudly fastened on his shirt. Moreover, he’s taken great care in answering questions about partners, favouring the word ‘spouse’ and always using gender-neutral pronouns. Harry is proud of the fact that he wears 26inch women’s skinny jeans, and continues to present himself as vulnerable in photoshoots, and to break gender norms by not shying away from the colour pink, silk and sheer, glitter boots, or wearing nailpolish. While some might not see the significance in this, these moves are incredibly powerful and can help people of all ages feel more accepted and comfortable with being who they are – it makes them feel normal and safe in a heteronormative world that is dominated by gender stereotypes. What is more, it reinforces their love and support for the artist, as they agree with their worldview – it’s a connection on a more fundamental level, that is not fueled by romantic love interest, or aesthetically pleasing faces and outfits.

Moreover, it inspires fans to change their views on society, and to extend the same charity and empathy as their idol does. In this respect, One Direction and its individual members have - unfortunately - been grossly underrated. Only recently did Steve Aoki note the incredibly power held by this fanbase in particular, calling the fans ‘an institution, like an army of bees’, recognizing how Louis Tomlinson’s fans were mainly responsible for his debut single’s smash success – creating and coordinating their own promotional campaigns, creating merchandise and posters, and requesting the song on radios. But this dedication does not limit itself to seeing their favourite artist succeed. Inspired by the great amount of charity work that One Direction has done itself, ranging from participating in Comic Relief and being patrons of numerous charities to Louis Tomlinson spending over 3 million pounds to organize a fundraiser in the form of a Princess Ball for ill children, the fans have bolstered this attitude to give to those in need and started charity drives in honour of the multiple members. The popular account 1DFansGive encourages fans to donate money to the charities that Harry and his peers are patrons of or have expressed their support for – with unparalleled, consistent success.

These positive aspects of the unique relationship between Harry Styles/1D and the fanbase are entirely lacking or even erased in media representation, which further fuels the dichotomy and love-hate relationship that fans have with media outlets. They stigmatize his fans as being teenage girls who fantasize about a relationship with him, and therefore are obsessed with his sex life – when this is frankly an insulting and gross overgeneralization. It is off-putting that fans are shamed for behavior they do not demonstrate, all the while the press engages in exactly that same behavior. It is not fans who force the idea of Harry Styles dating Taylor Swift or Kendall Jenner down anyone’s throats – it’s the press. It is not fans that prioritize his romantic relationships over his musical abilities and interests – it’s the press. On the other hand – it’s not the press that makes an artist successful, it’s the fans. And most importantly, it’s not the press that annually raises thousands of dollars inspired by an artist’s activism - it’s the fans. And the press doesn’t even report it; not even when they attempt fansplaining.

My advice? Don’t try something if the verb is derived from a harmful, toxic, divisive, humiliating and belittling behaviour that takes away someone’s voice and agency. Fansplaining is just as appreciated by fans as mansplaining is by women - not at all.

I really love this crayola supertips color 💕 I just had a trig quiz today, so here are some math notes :3
「Quick tip: When reviewing for a math quiz, practice problems are a great way to refresh the procedures in your mind~」

Beauty And The Beast quick review

Beauty And The Beast. I think everyone knows, how the story goes, but this was something. I can describe this movie with just one word: MAGICAL. This movie is pure disney magic. I had really high expectations coming to this movie, because Beauty And The Beast is my favorite Disney tale. And I’m so pleased with this movie. Don’t get me wrongl, there were still a few little mistakes, but if you don’t focus on them too much, you’ll definitely enjoy the movie, I did. I completely loved it.

Warning: Slight Spoilers

Let’s start with the cons, and those were mainy the “controversies” surrounding the movie. The LGBT LeFou, the dress and the reviews saying it’s too similar to the original. Let’s start with the LGBT Lefou. Gay LeFou is barely in the movie, he doesn’t even have that “great” scene that they were so promoting, there is actually nothing like that. It was a bit disappointing, because it just showed that they used it mainly for promotion. And his plot wasn’t that interesting. Then there’s the dress. I’m not a fan, but I do have to say, the way they introduce the dress is effin brilliant. Even though it’s a piece of trash compared to the original, the dance scene looked so gorgeous. And the reviews…I mean, it is a remake, what were you expecting? It’s the same story as the original, but it’s so much more mature. And they even answered some of the questions from the original, for example why don’t people remember that their prince is gone. And another small complaint is Gaston. He’s not the charming, self absorbed narcissist many people adore, he’s actually far more evil than the original. He’s like truly a villain. Some people don’t like this change, I’m actually quite a fan of the new portrayal.

Now to the pros, starting with the performances. Emma Watson as Belle delivers a jaw dropping performance, she truly is Belle. Everything about her character is just amazing, I didn’t know it was possible, but they improved Belles character so much. Next Dan Stevens as the Beast. Even though the CGI looked sometimes not real, he delivered a very good performance.  The chemistry between Belle and the Beast was so much more improved from the original, with them having little fun and cute moments. Everyone else did also very good job, but the performance I have to higlight is Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belles Father. He was spectacular. They gave him a backstory and made his character much remarkable. His relationship with Belle is just beautiful. Next on to the songs. OMG, they were incredible. The reworked old classics plus the new songs, it truly felt like a musical, and I would’t be surprised if Disney would be interested in making one. My favorite was for sure the Belle scene. Everything was just perfect. Also the sets were completely enchanting. The castle, the village, even the forest, all looked so magical. And as I previously said, they made the movie much more mature, mainly in the main romance. And boy, they did a great job. The entire movie feels like a more sophisticated version of the original and I highly recommend you checking it out.

Grade: A

Originally posted by partofyourtaleasoldastime

I also apologize for any grammatical mistakes :)


Have you seen this one?!

30 March, 2017 | nerdybun’s printables!

hey guys! I have not been v active (again), so I’m sharing some printables I made for a friend after a few edits to make up for my absence ahhhh.

I do not see a lot of printables for history class, so I thought I should post them first before I post the other common ones (planners, grade tracker, etc.) yass many more printables from me are on their way but I’m not satisfied w my edits yet so you guys are gonna have to wait a lil longer tho.

Keep reading

TAG Episode 17: Attack of the Reptiles

So I’m just gonna list out all of the things I loved about this new episode:

the scenery and interior sets (kinda thought I was watching the original)

That opening… so long and so good

the fact that it’s a homage to the more popular episode of the original

the realistic character actions (looking at you Gordon and John)

THE REPTILES BEING ACTUAL REPTILES ON A SET (Frank and Fred I think their names are)

The developing relations between Gordon and the Pendergasts plus Scott and Gordon for a bit

Gordon backstory!!!

….the mention of Alan…. I’m sorry but I had to say it…

But I have to admit, either it was my crappy quality of the episode or the animation felt a bit unfinished and stiff. Didn’t ruin the emotion or entertainment completely but it was bugging me.

8.5/10 they delivered very nicely on this episode.

Quick Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard

- Headshots motherfucker! ft. bad aim baddies.

- If you want to see Samuel L Jackson yelling motherfucker while shooting automatic weapons, then this movie is for you.

- Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds. Only this time he’s snarky in nice ass suits.

- This movie has some cheesy ass moments and dismisses logic to push the plot forward, but also never takes itself too seriously.

Final Grade: B

Verdict: This is a turn your brain off, action comedy that never stops ripping off solid jokes.

back with some info about @whitelinespaper (on instagram)!!! they sent me some products to review and tbh i am super in love with the notebooks. i think i might have to purchase a notebook for each subject i am studying next semester at school! i love the ability to digitalize the notes and have them with you wherever you go! i also just love the paper quality, it is so smooth and my brush pens don’t bleed or ghost through. i also love that the app (although before this i had heard mixed reviews) has the ability to detect thin lines since i like to write with a 0.38 mm pen or a 0.5 mm pen \ materials used: tombow dual brush pen no. 885 (warm red), red artline stix brush marker, white ultra simple retractable pen in 0.5 mm \ also just a quick review but the white ultra simple retractable pen in 0.5 mm that i have been using recently is absolUTELY amazing it has become one of my new favorite black pens!! if you’re interested, be sure to check it out at @shopmakadai on instagram!! they have such cute products for such affordable prices \ okay promos over now haha this was a long caption lmao

taken from my studygram: @studygraycee


[2017] SoundREVIEW - PERSONA 5 OST Back at it again.

Thor: Ragnarok

Saw Thor last night (for free) and a good sign is that I’d definitely pay to watch it again.

Thor, for me, has probably been the least entertaining character, and film series, in the MCU. I went to see Ragnarok because my partner wanted to, and I have to say, for the majority, it was hilarious. Thankfully this instalment displays the positive changes and improvements that can be seen in all current Marvel/comic book film releases. I’d put the Iron Man trilogy and the two previous Thor films in the same basket of things I’d never want to see again. I don’t think you need to have payed much attention during the first two Thor films in order to appreciate this one.

Good things about Thor: Ragnarok:

-Natalie Portman isn’t in it (It just seems she doesn’t like being in film series’)

-Kat Dennings isn’t in it

-After the first 15 minutes, it’s incredibly funny

-Most of the new characters are brilliant, even if just for comic relief

-Valkyrie is cool (ish)

-Stan Lee’s cameo is sweet

-The post-credit scene from Doctor Strange is nicely tied in, which made me feel more a part of the movie, since I have rejected the previous two.

Bad things about Thor: Ragnarok:

-It’s Thor (I really just don’t like Thor, sorry)

-Cate Blanchett’s generic character acting

-CGI/Green Screen

I like that there’s no real romantic side-story, if you ignore the insinuation between Valkyrie/Thor, Valkyrie/Bruce. It’s simply about trying to save Asgard, getting a team together, and tying the worlds together. And it’s really funny. Like, even noticing things in the background that are funny. It’s really fucking funny.

[Q.R] Trifecta Collection (For Trifiesta)


  • Title : Trifecta Collection [for Trifiesta on Tumblr]

  • Author :@suicidesquadgirl13
  • Total Episodes: 8 episodes with different themes.


Those one-shots for @trifiesta on Tumblr for celebrating Kirishima Zen and Yokozawa Takafumi’s brithday this year (2017).

My Little Notes

I have 5 favorite stories in this Trifecta Collection by this writer that I want to share with you all. Have a nice day~

**See my Ratings explanation here.    

Day 4


I like this side story very much! This story is related with The Witches of Marukawa from this author. Much because this is from Kirishima POV. You see, I didn’t know how busy Yokozowa in his house until Kirishima came and watched his house while Yokozawa’s away. I even didn’t know that he had pets (but I am sure he has plants from Hatori). I like to see how busy Kirishima while making sure that everything’s all right in Yokozawa’s house based on Yokozawa’s house-sitting instructions. And I like the scenes when he tricked a joy angel for the 1st time. He’s so smart to make a scenario by using Yokozawa’s pet (Suki and Yuki). I really enjoy this story very much!! And, yeah, Kirishima is a strange person. I bet he feels like a witch while redrew the pentagram…

And here’s the question… Is it working if the pentagram is drawing by a normal human who doesn’t have witch blood in his body? 

I don’t know…

Day 6 


Crossover with Family Life story by this author. I like with this theme where you can choose the story between Hiyori or Sorata. In this story I like when Hiyori thinks about her action and what will she do to make Sapphire feels better and forgive her by buying her favorite stuffs… almost all her favorite stuffs (or maybe all?). Hmmm… I think it’s too much hahaha… I didn’t think she will do something like that… It will be best if she can choose her very favorite stuff (one or two) to give it to her as an apologize. 

But for the main story itself, I like it! You can find many main points in this story that related with reality. This is really important. For example, you can see that’s some people doesn’t like to be near or be friend with Sapphire. They think Sapphire is a weird girl, who loves tarot and her appearance is different from the other girl and so on… But it doesn’t mean that she is a mean girl. She just different but it doesn’t mean she is a bad girl. So clear your mind and don’t judge people by their cover! Hm! We should be more open minded. 

Day 2

  • Ratings : 4/5


Wanna make a bet with Yokozawa? Lol, I know that Kirishima is good with everything. He is cleaver, can turn the table easily, has silver tongue, and will do anything (also take a risk and gambling) to make everything easy and done. But what if Yokozawa won this gambling? I enjoy the story when Yokozawa win his battle. And this is one of them. While Yokozawa enjoys his time, Kirishima must admit that this activity is not for him. I laughed while reading it. Also, I like Takano appearance while nursing Yokozawa here. Hahahaha… I like their relationship as a friend. 

I like to say it once more… Yokozawa’s not stiff anymore ^0^ 

Day 1


This is the 1st time for Kirishima to join Yokozawa for Angle Hunting. And of course, Yokozawa should make a complete preparation to make sure Kirishima’s safety. This is a sweet moment that I never find in the main story. Glad I can find it in this side story. At this moment, I like to see how busy and thoughtful Yokozawa and how nervous Kirishima. This story is a simple one but I think it will be great if there’s a scenes while they go to angel hunting so I can see what’s Kirishima’s reaction after that. But for now, it’s good.

Day 5
Kirishima’s Birthday/Free Prompt

  • Ratings : 3.5/5


There’s a secret from Yokozawa that Kirishima didn’t know. But I feel I am in a rush while reading it. The idea is good and I can see the struggle between Yokozawa and Kirishima. I love it when Kirishima said “we’re in this together, Takafumi” while making sure that Yokozawa is not alone facing his situation. I almost cry when he said he wanted to die because he couldn’t stand with the pain… It will be best to make more chapter and explain their situation, action, and what they are thinking slowly. You can explore their negative feelings here but one chapter is not enough…

That’s my very quick review 

*bowing*  m(_  _)m 

I am so sorry because I wrote it in my free time and RL got me asap when I left my laptop behind. But the author said that she has new chapter for her main stories and I am really waiting for it! 

For you who will take a journey back to home aka “bakal ikut arus balik, yay!”, be careful on the road and stay save! This holiday will be end in a few days and aww I will be back to my routine activity T^T

(goodbye holiday)

Thanks for reading.

See ya for the next review and Have a good day!

DROPS: An Honest Review

(If you don’t have time to read everything, I’ve highlighted the important stuff in bold, just read bolded words for a quick overview of my review.)

So I’m here to talk to you about Drops, a semi-recent language learning app available for free on iOS mobile devices. And no, I’m not being paid or anything, I’ve just been messing around with it for a couple weeks now and I thought it would be useful to share my own personal experience and opinion of the app.

So, Drops is really specifically a vocabulary builder, so don’t show up expecting grammar. You will get verbs, though so far they’ve all been conjugated in first person. It sorts the vocabulary by topics, however the app itself is cumulative, so say for example I go to study essentials, it will primarily focus on the vocab of that lesson, however I may still get the occasional vocab word from any other lesson I’ve studied, and of course, only the specific words I’ve been introduced to from each lesson.

You start out with everything but the first category unlocked, when you first open it it asks if you’re a beginner or intermediate, I have no clue what happens if you click intermediate, honestly. When you’re on the categories screen (above), the clock is always stopped. And when you click a lesson and study for like three minutes but then want to go to another lesson for the last two minutes the clock will always stop on the category screen and you can think about what else you want to study without a deadline creeping up on you.

Drops also requires no typing (but that doesn’t mean no spelling, you get it other ways), and, as I’m currently using Japanese, I think it does a fairly decent job at introducing you to non-latin writing systems; however, it should absolutely be supplemented with other resources for learning the script. It phases you in slowly and uses a lot of romanizations, but after a word has come across your screen a couple of times it’ll start asking you to spell it in the proper alphabet. At first it’ll split the word up into like two big parts and eventually you’ll be down to putting it down by syllables or even letters. The groupings it chooses are sometimes random and a bit confusing to put together, even if you know the word, which I dislike. Also know, romanizations can be turned off at any time in the settings menu. Which I haven’t done yet so I don’t know what it’s gonna look like when I do but know that it’s an option.

The pronunciation audio I think is really good. For Japanese I’m pretty sure it’s a native speaker and not like a robot or some random British guy who knows IPA. The audio repetition is constant, so if you fill in the solution you will hear the word spoken each and every time, no exceptions. There is also no heart loosing features of any kind so wrong answers will not get penalized in any way. But when you get one wrong they will repeat the correct answer for you right after.

I also think it has compelling imagery. Everything is in the form of icons (not pictures), so it’s really clear EXACTLY what it’s supposed to be. Several of them, particularly for verbs, even have small animations. Like the one for “I eat” is a guy sitting at the table and his arm moves back and forth between the plate and his mouth, so, like eating. So very simple overall. And if you ever forget what a particular icon is supposed to be, you can always tap and drag/hold and the English will pop up. Here’s one of my favorite icons.

So overall I think it’s a cute little app. It will advertise constantly trying to get you to buy a subscription, I honestly don’t think it would be worth it unless they literally had the deal of the century and you’re rich. Also timing wise 5 minutes goes by incredibly fast but for me rarely feels like it wasn’t enough. I really like the ability to choose categories and not be locked into it until I finish lest the owl get angry (*cough cough* duolingo), so there’s a lot of freedom of movement in that, and the more categories you unlock the more versatility you get. You’re also not required to so all 5 minutes in one go. So if you only want to go for three, you totally can. My biggest complaint is that their like “5 minutes each day” is set for like a day to mean 10 hours, not 24, so sticking with any kind of streak is basically impossible. So, yeah, don’t like that. The absolute best feature they have though, is that when you finish your 5 minutes you get like a waiting screen with a timer until you can play again and a list of every word you encountered in your last 5 minute session. This page forgoes romanizations, and if you tap on an icon you can hear the word pronounced and see the English. Super useful so you can review after the lesson without wasting precious seconds writing vocab down while the timer is going. The notification is a bit guilt-trippy, just a warning.

BEST USES: Overall I think this app works really well as a fun little vocabulary builder. The fact that it mixes in vocab from other lessons (including lessons after the category you’re on and not just before) is extremely helpful and not something I’ve seen in any other app. Also the vocab list feature is mad supreme so love that, also haven’t seen anyone else do it. As it offers little in the sense of grammar or culture, it obvs cannot (and should not) be used as any kind of stand alone language learning method.

I also particularly think that this app would be super useful to people having trouble studying either because they’re super busy, or because they have depression, anxiety, or any other illness that makes simple things for neurotypicals or otherwise able people suddenly way more difficult to accomplish. It’s so low-key, and it only asks for 5 minutes that you don’t even have to give it all in one go, that it’s a nice way to keep language fresh in your brain and still get some extra vocab in when you just can’t bring yourself to do any kind of proper sit down studying.

Drops is currently available in Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, German, Russian, Portuguese or Italian. But as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean are actually pretty recent additions, they will hopefully continue expanding into more languages.

  1. Write everything down! The action of writing will help you remember it
  2. Make your study area visually appealing but free from clutter and unnecessary desk objects which will only distract you
  3. Look at your lecturer when they are talking
  4. Study alone, sitting with other people is also Very Distracting
  5. Take thorough notes in lectures and when studying from textbooks, it doesn’t even matter if you dont read them again just write them down!
  6. Immediately after lectures look over your notes and have a quick review and revise
  7. Read in 25 minute intervals, if you go longer you lose most of your comprehension
  8. Read the overview and summary before you read the main text
  9. Make sure you move about in study breaks; take a short walk, chat to a friend, get a drink, nip to the shop
  10. Underline your main points in a bright colour and use colour coding to group similar ideas together
  11. After each break review the underlined material
  12. Use index cards to learn new vocabulary or formulae, either use coloured card or write in colours
  13. Make mind maps! After each lecture draw a mind map of everything covered on a fresh page and make it pretty and colourful :)))
  14. Try to incorporate graphic elements in your notes, draw graphs and illustrations
  15. Watch videos about the topics you are learning on youtube, khan academy etc
  16. Sit near the front of the lecture hall!
  17. If you need glasses wear them, and if not remember to get your eyes checked every two years

As a TV critic who keeps an eye on social issues, I’ve long been critical of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises. They urge viewers to believe completely contrived events are somehow spontaneous. They also support an unhealthy princess fantasy in which romance is conflated with an upper-middle class wonderland filled with reality TV fame and luxury resort getaways.

So why do I find it so important that The Bachelorette is welcoming its first black woman as a star this season? The answer came as I watched Rachel Lindsay navigate what turned out to be a pretty typical Bachelorette debut episode, which aired Monday night. The show hit all the expected notes: a quick review of how she was rejected by Nick Viall in the last Bachelor season, a hasty reminder of her background as an attorney and a turn into the new life she was hoping for at the end of the Bachelorette “journey.”

But part of the show’s princess fantasy involves building up its bachelorette as an archetype of beauty: a smart, personable, all-American woman who a bevy of Abercrombie & Fitch model lookalikes would fight over.

‘The Bachelorette’ May Have A Black Star, But It’s Still Set In A White World

Photo: Paul Hebert/ABC

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) ★★★★★★★ 07/10

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong

Vaughn como “caballero” repite, su nuevo Kingsman es tan atrevido, loco y entretenido como su primera parada en el 2014, su humor negro, su ritmo, sus secuencias coreográficas (sobre todo eso), hacen no solo un producto entretenido y gustoso para los fans, sino también el enganche para prolongar su franquicia. ¿Nos cansaremos en algún momento de este tipo de propuestas cinematográficas? Es probable, el espectador común es tan impredecible como un infante y con tantas propuestas similares, es normal pensar que se anda en una cuerda floja y si hoy la taquilla revienta, probablemente en un mañana ni se moverá.

Ojo a un tal Sir Elton John, su cameo libra notablemente el valor del ticket.

A quick review of Michael Lee Brown as Evan Hansen, written by the wonderful and amazing @bowtiedbitch, who saw the show with MLB two days ago and was kind enough to share this with me! (with some very minor edits for clarity)

“So he came out to rapturous applause, and at the time I wasn’t sure why but now I know [it was his debut as Evan]! He was so amazing and true with the anxiety ticks, it seemed so real and he would talk fast in the beginning telling the story about his palms being sweaty. His physicality at being withdrawn and nervous showed perfectly, and his intention was always spot on. The parts that got me the most were “Worlds Fail” and “So Big/So Small”. The whole build up with the family arguing over the reveal of Connor’s suicide note, I only had eyes for MLB. His face. Oh my god, you could SEE the building anxiety and emotions. 

“He was pale, his eyes were bloodshot, he was rubbing/tapping his chest and pulling at his hair, he alternated between hyperventilating and not breathing until he just exploded in a sob with the reveal. How he sang through the sobbing– because he was full on sobbing–I have no idea. At one point spit fell from his mouth and landed audibly on the stage. It was aggressive, deep from within crying. The other characters all just stared, stunned. 

“After he went though it and ran out and went to the scene with his mother, it got even more powerful. She goes to hug him when she talks about how she knew she’d miss things. And he jumped at her. He held on, sprawled in her lap, crying into her shoulder. And the next scene? At the orchard? Put together. He took the few minutes to quick change and wipe the tears, breath, come onstage for the last scene.”

Your Name Review

My name sucks.  If your name matches my name, chances are it sucks too but I’m not here to discuss, “What’s in a name?”, I want to talk about Your Name, a recent anime movie in select theaters. 

First time I heard of the movie there was quite a bit of praise coming from people I follow and several months later, the praise continues after more theaters started playing this feature.

Today, I went to the nearest theater that actually played the movie (and thankfully I didn’t have to travel too far to see it).  Now that I manage to see it, here is my verdict.  Go see this movie!

A lot of the reviews I’ve listen to and read avoided spoilers so I will do the same and say that you should go in with as little information plot-wise.  But then again, I’m not you so I have no idea how you will feel seeing it with major plot details so it’s more of a suggestion rather than any kind of specific direction to enjoy the movie.

Two things I loved about this movie, the art and story.

The art in many scenes is gorgeous to look at.  A lot of the backgrounds are hand made drawings and the level of detail is astounding to look at.  Even the most mundane areas that you might encounter has a visual flair that has me wanting to pause the movie to admire the amazing work that was done.

What surprised me the most was how well the writing was regarding the core plot thread.  It’s a body switching plot between a male and female protagonist without fixing too much on the physical aspects of each gender.  Sure there are moments shown in that regard but is usually reserved for comedic effect.  Without revealing too much, the relationship that develops between the two leads grows into the love that they themselves weren’t entirely ready for and I found it was built up perfectly.

If I had to rank this movie along other anime movies, I think I might rank it slightly above Kiki’s delivery service and really enjoyed that Miyazaki movie.

I would definitely would like read your thoughts on this movie if you are willing to share.  Especially on how you would rank it against many of your favorite anime’s.