they were always used as comedians

I hope I’m educating outsiders about the long time existence of fatphobia in the African American community.

So many people believed and still believe black women don’t experience fatphobia because of the myth that most African America men like curvy or thick women. This belief ignored years of fat black women or bigger black women who’ve suffered through body image issues, and eating disorders. Every time there’s a study it’s perpetuating the myth that all of us are happy with our bodies because our culture loves bigger girls. That’s complete rubbish and I know that with a fact. That’s not true and has never been true. 

What they don’t know is that our culture’s definition of “thick” is a skinny girl with an acceptable amount of butt and boobs, and has always been.

I mentioned the video model/urban magazine era and how I’ve been around long enough to remember it, and how many believed that era supposedly highlighted the belief or myth that black men preferred bigger women because they were using video models in their videos. In Westernized America where Victoria Secret models are the standard, in black culture video models are equivalent to my size.

If you Google Ki Toy, Melyssa Ford, Vida Guerra, KD Aubert, Bria Myles (some of their pictures are NSFW, and I can’t think of anymore, those are the most popular one’s I remember right off the top of my head), and see what I mean by slim girls with an acceptable amount of butt and boobs. 

And over time the girls got thinner, and the actual thick girls got called too fat, and turned away from videos. Even in old school Hip-Hop videos (Baby Got Back for example), and R&B videos the women were slim not “thick” and definitely never fat/plus size.

There has never been a time in our culture where bigger black women were actually celebrated. The only time we did feel a litte reassured is when another fat black woman made it possible for us to feel comfortable (comedian/actress Monique). And plus size/fat black women always got/get the short end of the stick. We were always seen as the symbol of failure in the black community. The poster child of poor decisions. We had to go through years of being told how fat we are compared to other races of women with some loser pulling up outdated information about our bodies.

If you look in black culture fat black women are always people’s punchlines, it started way back then, not just because social media exists. Those hurtful images and comments turned into memes to bash fat black women have always been there. Joke upon joke comparing us to animals or inanimate objects in the most brutal or antagonizing way.

In our music and in film or t.v. like Big Momma’s house, Friday, Norbit, Martin (character Cole’s girlfriend Big Shirley where she would never be shown, but they’d play up horrible stereotypes about her size and weight by making loud footsteps sounds with the floor shaking indicating how big she was)and many other representations, it’s extremely prevalent to see fatphobia in black culture.

Our fatphobia also comes with racist perceptions about fat black women and black culture so that adds to the burden. Racism is a driving factor of fatphobia.

Fatphobia and eating disorders target black women too.

The Lyrics Challenge

This is probably the 100th Legacy Challenge but there are never enough of them, if we’re perfectly honest right now. This challenge is pushing you to make choices you normally wouldn’t do - and it hopefully motivates you to play the game as well! And maybe you’ll even find one or two songs you didn’t know yet and like them.

Basic Rules:

  1. Money cheats can be used, though you shouldn’t overdo it. We suggest you to cheat (FreeRealEstate on) to get your house in the first place, but don’t use any money cheats after that. But that’s up to you.
  2. We would appreciate if you wouldn’t use other cheats beside the money cheats. Of course, if something really bad happens - for example your heir dying, who would want that, right? - we actually want you to cheat. But as for the money, you shouldn’t overdo it.
  3. Keep the lifespan of your Sims on normal.
  4. Your Sims may live wherever you want, unless it’s stated otherwise in the rules for that generation.
  5. Aspirations and Careers need to be mastered unless stated otherwise
  6. If there’s a generation you simply can’t play because you don’t own the needed expansion/gameplay pack, just get creative, take a song you like and play with that lyrics around!
  7. If you play this challenge, we’d be happy to see it. Tag your posts with #lyricschallenge so we can see it!

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UNCHARTED Sentence Starters

Drakes fortune:

  • “Then, my friend, you have a problem.” 
  • owww, I did NOT see that!” 
  • “let’s just pretend for a minute that I don’t really care about any of that and cut to the chase will ya?”
  • “Is that it? Is that my deal? Die now, or help you, and die later. It’s a tough call, but you know what? I’ll take die now.” 
  • “I’m sweating like a hooker in church!”
  • “Oh crap.” 
  • You make it sound so dirty”
  • “Somethin nasty happened to these guys. There’s blood everywhere… and soup.”
  • “I’ll kick you to sleep!”

Among Thieves:

  • “Yep, that’s my blood… that’s a lot of my blood…”
  • You couldn’t find your ass with both hands. (and a map)” 
  • “Compassion is the enemy. Mercy defeats us. Now, unless you wish to test me still further, you will drop your weapons!”
  • “I’m sure you’re gonna tell me.”
  • “Alright. Eh, c'mon. Admit it - you’re impressed”
  • Y'know, people are always telling me how lucky I am. But the truth is, everything I touch turns to shit.”
  • “You were right” 
  • “Nice View”
  • I’m not stubborn, I’m just restless.”
  • “So… On a scale of 1 to 10, how scared were you that I was gonna die?”
  • “We cannot fumble our way through this!”
  • “You Cocky Bastard”

Drakes Deception: 

  • “Yeah, you’re a comedian.”
  • “be careful what you wish for.“
  • “Hopefully, that’s the last of them.”
  • “Oh, great… next thing I know you’ll be putting that gun to the back of my head telling me about the rabbits.”
  • “Would you stop being a wise ass for a minute and listen?”
  • “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
  • "How the hell did you do this with just three bullets.”
  • “How do I know you’re real?”
  • “Never a dull moment with you, huh?”

anonymous asked:

Were Cavendish and Dakota, hard to draw?

All grownups on the show were a challenge for me to get used to. Dakota was no exception, and neither was CAvendish.

Image above was drawn from memory, so there are some difference to the actual models XP

Cavendish was actually a pain in the BACKSIDE to get used to, and I’m still drawing his head different in ever episode I boarded XD

(Sketches above are from the Milo Archives! form last February I believe). During the fourth episode I boarded, I started asking people how they drew him. One Board artist, Ed Rivera, told me he always referenced old comedians like Buster Keaton for Cavendish and Dakota, and drew them in poses that would reflect their acting and personalities. Once I got that down pat, I took the model sheet and essentially traced his head once or twice before just trying to eyeball it. I’m not big on tracing, because that limits your movement, but sometimes it’s necessary to be able to draw more on model.

And I’m still learning. But he’s getting easier! :) Just takes practice ;)

As mad as I am rn, as much as I wish they would’ve won all 4, it’s okay… because they’re still winners to us all. The boys will ALWAYS be winners in our hearts. & we’re so proud of them & we will continue to support them! The number of surfboards they got tonight doesn’t change how amazing & talented they are.


They were up against KEVIN HART, ONE OF THE KINGS OF COMDEY, & THEY WON! THATS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT IN ITSELF! They got to present this year! & the chance of being nominated for 4 awards is an amazing achievement!


happy birthday, experiment 255;

⇢ summary:  namjoon is experiment 255, the latest model in a series of humanoid robot helpers for mankind. you’re the primary caretaker of experiment 255 until he’s deemed fit to be sold on the market, and for the most part, you’re supposed to stay unattached. but throwing him a mini birthday party wouldn’t hurt much, right? (cause i just had to do something weird for his birthday)

⇢ relationship: kim namjoon/reader.

genre: robot!au, fluff, implied romantic feelings.

⇢ words: 4.1k

⇢ warnings: fluff for days, namjoon doesn’t get birthdays but he does get sarcasm, you love him and he won’t admit it but he loves you too :’)

Originally posted by sugutie

“Happy birthday, Joonie!”

Namjoon is momentarily startled as soon as he’s powered on, his vision immediately clouded by you, or rather, your face hovering inches in front of his own. He blinks, and then notices the embarrassingly large smile on your face and dares to ask, “What?”

You reel back with an unsatisfied huff, and he’s then able to make out a small, chocolate cupcake in your hand with one pink candle stuffed in the middle of a mountain of blue icing. It’s lit, and the wax is beginning to drip onto the icing. “I said, happy birthday Namjoon. It’s your birthday, September 12th. You’re one year old!” It sounds weird coming out of your mouth, looking at this robot whose been modeled after a twenty-two year old man and knowing you and your team had only created him last fall, but the prospect of celebrating his day of birth (or, better put, creation) was too fun for you to care. You had been hoping that Namjoon would share your excitement too, but you’d been living with the android for a year, and he was pretty incapable of feeling anything besides disdain and curiosity. Sometimes, if you were lucky, you even got a bit of surprise.

Still, you were determined to make this a happy day for him. God knows who would take out the time to celebrate his birthday once he was being sold on the market.

Keep reading

Time for the Sinnoh kids!!

- Platina is daughter of Athena

- Remeber when I said Daisy was Athena’s favorite? well it was a lie, Platina is

- She is the brain of the Sinnoh trio, barely fights but if it’s necessary she will do it

- One day her mansion was attacked by monsters looking for a book Athena gave her father

- Her father was kiddnaped by said monsters 

- He gave her the book they were looking for 

- Sebastian (her butler’s name I think??) is actually a satyr

- He was taking her to camp half-blood when they found Pearl and Diamond

- Platina and Pearl are half-siblings (duh) 

-  They didn’t get along at all at first tho

- Diamond is son of Demeter

- He is the assigned chef but not because he is good at cooking (he is tho), it’s because the other two suck at it

- His mom gave him a pendant that transforms into a sickle

- He hates fighting and preffers talking, it never works

- He can control plants and stuff like all the demeter kids 

- Because of this he always has stuff to eat, though he prefers junk food

- He never gets angry but when he does it’s more like dissapointing, all the people who have experienced it can agree it’s the worst 

- He and Pearl have been friends and neighbors since they were little so everybody thought pearl’s dad and Dia’s mom where dating 

- He sees Palmers as some kind of fathers, cool uncle figure

- Because of Pearl’s fear of spiders (and later platina too) he is always prepared for spiders but instead of killing them he takes them out

-  Platina and Pearl call him the Spider Tamer in secret because he finds the name silly

- He convinced the Hephaestus Cabin to build a special tv that doesn’t attrack monsters to watch his tv programs

- Pearl is Athena’s son

- He doesn’t like her at all

- This is because she is kind of a jerk

- When he and dia first arrived at the camp Dia wa claimed first so he had to spent the night at Hermes Cabin alone

- He kind of resents Dia for leaving him but feels bad for thinking that

- He wasn’t comfortable at first but then got along with the Hermes Cabin and helped them with their pranks

- Everybody thought he was a Hermes kid because of this

- When he was claimed Platina got really angry because she found ridiculous that a “buffon” like him was son of Athena

- He uses a crossbow cause it’s faster and more powerful than a bow

- He can never get calm, like never, he is always moving and doing something

- He sees Dia’s mom as a mother figure

- Dia always had his powers and could invoke fruits even before they knew ther were demigods but never cared much about it, he always says “It’s a Dia’s thing”

- Pearl and Dia want to be comedians (like in the manga) but it was seen bad for an Athena’s child to do something so stupid and meaningless as comedy

- Athena didn’t take him seriously because of this but then got proven wrong

- He is one of the best strategist in the camp

- Because of Palmer’s job he was always away so Pearl practically live in Dia’s house

- They found out they were demigods because one day they found Gold unconscious near the twon where they lived and took him to Dia’s house, then got attacked by monsters who kidnapped his parents (they were looking for Platina’s father but only knew that one of Athena’s lovers (??) had the book but didn’t knew which one) and Gold took them to camp half-blood

That’s all for now, if anyone has ideas I’d love to see them <33 I’m taking a break before doing the other characters. I have all of the godly parents planned for the other dex holders up to Alola, except for black-two and Cheren so if anyobody has any ideas it would be great if you tell me. Also I’m going to add other characters, like Misty, sabrina, etc.

And what was lovely about those boys was that when they became famous they were still the same boys we had known before. “Paul was very outgoing and friendly – a born comedian. John was a little bit withdrawn and quiet, Ringo was a bit quiet, too, and George was lovely. Paul was terrified of flying and always sat with a hostess at the back of the plane. And when they had become famous he would read out fan letters to us.
“He asked me once ‘Do you like our music?’ I said I hadn’t heard much of it because I was a bit older than them. He howled with laughter, and I felt a bit embarrassed. I still feel a bit ashamed about that, but we never had the time to go out to places like the Cavern.
—  Patsy Leigh, Liverpool Echo, 10th August 2016
One Bad Pun Deserves Another

Pairing: Soukoku

Rating: G

Summary: After losing a bet to Odasaku and Ango, Dazai is forced to do bad standup comedy during open mic night at an unfamiliar bar. His jokes are so bad that no one is laughing, except for one drunk redhead in the back of his room who is laughing his ass off.



This is based off of an ask that someone sent to my @softsoukoku blog ;w; I’ve been meaning to write a fic for it for a while, but school got in the way. Now that school is over I finally managed to get it done!!It’s short and really cheesy but I hope you guys like it anyways <3

Read it on AO3

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cptsrodgers  asked:

what is going on with chris and jenny? i've never actually looked into her, so i don't know who she really is, only that she was in gifted with chris. and i did see that they got together for drinks, but that's it. can you spill the tea? 🐸☕️

I’m always ready to spill the tea 

Originally posted by vickydrogaax

Okay so Jenny is an actor and comedian and she and Chris started dating around October 2015 (when gifted was being filmed). They were dating and all that and then some fans found a bunch of homophobic, transphobic, body shaming, and slut-shaming tweets and ”jokes” (The whole 9 yards I think there are probably more) but yeah the list goes on. On top of that, they had a terrible relationship like fr she supposedly used to hit him at times (could you imagine someone hurting him?? smh) and eventually broke up after 9 months of dating.THEN she started saying shit about him in a few interviews (don’t even want to go into that) . So now they were seen having drinks together and in a picture, making everyone lose their shit. After that, they haven't been seen together but their relationship has always been kinda lowkey so who knows but hopefully that was just a one time “hey let’s catch up” thing


“My whole time at SNL, women were always the quarterback. It was Tina when I got there, then Amy, then Kristen. You know, they were always the ones doing the best work.”

anonymous asked:

Can you do a fic where leafy falls in love with one of his obsessed YouTube vlogger fangirls????

Typing this from my phone but I wanted to give you another fic before tonight because of all the support 💕 I am kind of continuing this as like a part two of the last YouTube fic. It’s kinda funny to me idk maybe it will be trash 😂 Lol let me know if you guys enjoyed!

LeafyIsHere Fanfiction - Fangirl Vlogger

You and Calvin chatted for a several weeks after your cute date and went on several more. Unfortunately, the two of you were always busy filming videos and such so meeting was a bit difficult. You both hadn’t announced that you were dating, yet. However, the two of you wanted to do it in a way that would be entertaining for everyone. Being the comedian you are, you announced while hanging out with him, “Hey, I’m making a video tomorrow about us. Is that going to be okay?” Calvin turned to you, and looked at you with a shocked expression, “I mean whatever you want to do, but tomorrow?” He was fine with it, just skeptical at what you had planned. He was a little wary about how your fans would react, but even more so about his. As far as he was concerned, if you said you were straight up dating him, they wouldn’t believe you; but if you made a joke about it, they probably wouldn’t either.

You smile at him and laugh a little to yourself, “I’ve just been planning to vlog this one thing and I thought it would be a good transition.” You say in reply. “A good transition?” He asks. “Yeah, just don’t forget to roast me for the video the day after and confirm.” His face only shows bewilderment as he stares at you in confusion trying to figure out what you’re planning. “Do I want to know?” He turns and asks you. “It will be a more candid reaction for your viewers if you don’t. Don’t worry, I’m not going to eat a bug or bathe in bleach.” You reply simply before going back to what you were doing before. Not quite knowing what to say, Calvin simply agrees with you and says, “Alright, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.”

The following day you spend getting ready for your video. You vlog what you need to in the morning and head to your local prehistoric pets shop (dude if you don’t have one of these in your area they are literally just a store with reptiles fucking everywhere!!! 🐍 lol). You are going there to pick up a tiny lizard for a pet you picked out a week ago. You didn’t really have any animals because of how much traveling you did, but you thought you could manage a small lizard. Before entering the store, you whip out your camera and face it towards you. “Hey, Y/N here. As many as you know I am fucking obsessed with Leafy so today I am going to become full reptilian and save one of my own kind from opression.” You film yourself walking into the store and talking with the clerk about picking up your new best friend, which you will speed up in the video. You then are required to fill out some paperwork about caring for your pet. Under the form you are required to write what you name the pet. Of course, you film yourself writing “Leafy” in the spot and then film the lizard moving around and looking at the camera. Joking around, you turn the camera to face you and say, “Now ‘Leafy’ is legally binded to me.” You almost let out a chuckle and can slightly hear it in the background of the video. Leaving the store, when you get back home you set up his area and then insert a time lapse of what the lizard does in there. At one point you add in your thumbnail; which is an edit you made of Calvin with the lizard in the bottom corner with the caption, “Don’t talk to me or my son ever again.” At the very end of the video you put the disclaimer: “Thank you guys for supporting me with this video. This video is for comedic purposes, say hello to my new pet lizard, Leafy and let me know if you want to see Leafy in some videos.”

You post the video online and tag Calvin in a tweet you send out with the link. People are going crazy and Calvin immediately calls you laughing his ass off. “Did you seriously get a lizard and name it fucking ‘Leafy’?” He asks you. Laughing at his reaction you say, “Yeah, you’re under the parent contact information section, too. I thought pretending to be a crazy Fangirl would be the best fit.” On the other end, Calvin is still trying to calm himself down. He takes in a few breaths before continuing, “Okay, that was pretty great. I’ll make my video. I’ll call you when I’m done, are you free to go out tonight?” “Yeah, sure. Just text when you wanna meet up.” You reply. Both of you say your goodbyes and then hang up.

Patiently waiting for his video to be uploaded, you are a little bit nervous at how everyone is going to react. You didn’t really come out to everyone that the two of you were dating. You had explained to Calvin you were leaving that up to him and he said he would include some pictures you two took as proof.

Later that evening you got the notification of the video and began watching it. He began roasting the video, as he would any other person. At the end of his video, he says that he had a surprise for his viewers. He showed a picture of the two of you together and stated that, “Oh yeah, one more thing. Did I mention I’m fucking dating them?” He immediately shows a couple cute pictures of the two of you (one from your coffee date and another from when you fell asleep on him). Continuing he says, “Y/N just decided to adopt this lizard without consulting me. And what if we break up now? I’m going to have to pay fucking child support or some shit.” He immediately laughs in his video and says how he can’t really stay serious when it comes to you. He apologizes for roasting you but then goes on to say how all the pictures he used were ones you sent him. About 15 minutes after the video is posted, you get a text on where and when would work to meet up. The rest of the night the two of you spent laughing about each other’s videos and the different memes people made.

Did this from my phone so I apologize if there are more errors than usual. 👀 Hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry that it’s a little shorter. Thanks again for all the love ❤️ HISSSSS
100 Notes and I’ll get a lizard ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

In June 1969, The Monkees (minus Peter, who’d left the band by that point) appeared on The Tonight Show. I don’t think any footage of this exists, but Andrew Sandoval writes about it in his book, The Day By Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation.

I reaaaallllly wish there was footage of this because it sounds like a bit of a hot-mess thanks to Micky, BLESS HIM.

It’s basically a possibly high Micky rambling and proving what a massive science nerd he is. He’s talking about 3D stuff and people are laughing at him. I think it’s so cute and it makes me love him even more, even if Davy and Mike ended up getting miffed with him.

I copied it from Andrew’s book so you can see what I’m talking about;

Still in New York City, the Monkees tape an appearance for The Tonight Show, an NBC network program hosted by Johnny Carson.  They perform two songs live, Daydream Believer and Goin’ Down, and between the songs take part in a painfully long panel discussion that is dominated by Micky’s offbeat patter.

After discussing Mike’s custom made cowboy outfit, Carson turns to Micky and asks, “Is your tongue black? Look at that!”

“Ribitussin”, explains Micky, referring to the popular cough syrup.

“I thought maybe it went with the outfit or something,” jokes Carson.

“There’s a cough in my throat, so I have to drink it every day,” says Micky, “but I can’t show the label, can I?”

“No, I don’t think you better show the label,” deadpans Carson. “Is there a label?”

After the audience erupts with laughter, Carson takes a more serious tack, asking the group if they would rather be known as singers or comedians.

“We’re a comedy group,” asserts Micky. “We were always a comedy group - that’s what we were hired for on the television show.”

“None of you were professional musicians at all before you got together, were you?” wonders Carson.

“I know Mike was and Peter,” replied Micky. “Davy had sung on stage in Oliver! and I had played a little guitar, but primarily I think they wanted us to be a comedy group, and the music kind of happened after that. I was told to be the drummer. About two weeks later I had to do my first concert and I have somebody else set up the drums.”

“You didn’t even know how to set up the drums?” muses Carson.

“Is this microphone working? Maybe that’s our problem; it is working.” Davy interjects: “We sit every night and watch you.”

Micky shrieks: “I’m so excited, I just love you!” much to the audience’s amusement.

“You wanna give me a swig of that bottle?” quips Carson.

“I have a picture of my wife and child in my case, that I was going to show you.” rambles Micky, “but they won’t give me my case. I also have a present for you. Real quick, because Mike says they don’t have a lot of time to do this. I’m going to give you a present.”

“Smart luggage,” remarks Carson upon spying Micky’s paper bag. “That’s the only way to travel.”

Micky gushes: “Here’s my wife and kid.”

Michael jokes: “The older one’s your wife?”

“Here’s my TV Guide thing on how to hog the cameras without seeming pushy on the talk shows,” says Micky, referring to an article in last weeks TV Guide. “I’m supposed to sit in the chair on the left hand of God, but you don’t have a left chair over there.”

Carson says: “I don’t have a God either.”

Quoting directly from the article, Micky recites: “Best of all, mention that you’ve tried some of the new food products that they’ve put on the market. It’s delicious - Carson’s Crullers.”

“We were up in the commissary,” offers Davy, “and you’re right what you say about it every night. [Michael] had a gross burger.”

Michael adds: “and a side of ptomaine.”

Carson concurs. “it’s not really very good, is it, to tell you the truth.” Then he asks Micky: “What is the gift?”

Micky says: “this gift for Ed [McMahon, Johnny’s co-host] is The Great International Paper Airplane book by the Scientific American.”

Carson laughs, saying: “I got him that last week.”

“This for you is a hologram,” continues Micky. “You don’t believe me. He thinks I’m out of my mind. It says in my TV Guide you gotta be a kook. … Now listen, this is very important, and you won’t know how important this is until maybe 20 years from now. This is a three-dimensional hologram produced by laser. The infraction beams two laser lights coming together. It’s recording on Kodak Spectrographic 649-F film.”

When the audience starts laughing, Micky pleads: “Oh come on! Please listen, ‘cos this is incredible. It’s the first time that anyone on nationwide television has ever heard this. This is a monochromatic filter - you put this in front of your slide projector, or a high intensity light. Inside, through here, appears a three-dimensional image - on this particular one it happens to be a cannon. You can turn it around and see it on all sides - the front and the back.”

After arguing with Michael and Carson that they won’t see it on television, Micky explains: “This I got out of a catalog, but in 20 years this will be in your living room. Then at 11:15 will come Johnny Carson. You’ll be able to walk around him. Did you see Forbidden Planet? Anyone see Forbidden Planet? Staff? Can I give you one other thing? This is an article on Clive Baxter, who lives here in New York. … He was one of the four polygraph experts asked to testify before the Home Foreign Operations and Government Information subcommittee.”

But before Micky can complete his address about Baxter - who proved scientifically that plants can think and respond via polygraph testing - Carson gracefully cuts him off in order to go to a commercial. Micky’s enthusiasm to interact with the vastly popular Carson is no doubt genuine and without malice to his bandmates, but the other Monkees are allegedly miffed by his antics. A post-show argument will place further cracks in their already rickety relationship.

Why isn’t there footage of this?! Or if anyone has any more information about this then that would be amazing too!

zenmaster46  asked:

Do you play D&D in person? or do you do it online? Any tips for a new player?

Hi there! I play both online and in person (same with running games), actually! These are some of the tips I tell my new players, and I hope you can find some of them helpful.

When all else fails, make the character who is the most like yourself. Some people think doing this is self-insert fanfiction, but I’ve never had it go wrong. A lot of new players think they have to match some sort of Lord of the Rings or Skyrim standard of super character, and impress everyone at the table, along with the DM. It’s a lot of pressure, and it can result in overcompensation, or just making a character you don’t even like. The key to really enjoying your character is to feel a connection with them, to be able to crawl into their skin and live through them. For first-time players, this is a lot easier if they share a lot of the same personality quirks, hobbies, and talents with their character.
This is actually where Prianna came from - I’m a trained cook in real life, and she was a very early character of mine. So I just used my cooking abilities, something I knew well, and built the entire character around it. I’ve seen amazing characters that were musicians, writers, athletes, crafters, knitters, painters, mechanics, comedians, etc. The most beloved characters are usually the ones who feel the most real.

Always write a backstory. You can give this to your DM and show them, and sometimes another player will want to see what you’ve come up with, but this is mostly for yourself. Writing a backstory seems unnecessary, but I’ve always seen it add an extra level of confidence to a nervous new player. If they know their character inside and out, they feel more prepared, and it’s noticeable around the table. It also helps you make decisions in game, because you’ll often pull from what you wrote as past experiences. It doesn’t have to be pages long, just a blurb about how they grew up, and why they became an adventurer.

Keep an extra sheet of paper handy, listing what all of your abilities and spells do EXACTLY. That way you don’t have to pause the game and feel uncomfortable while you get the information out of the book, or online. My character sheets still have every range/effect/saving throw scribbled all over them because I always forget, and having them there to look at while I wait for my turn makes the entire process SO much faster. Being able to immediately pipe up about what your spell or ability does adds extra player confidence too!

Have a cheat sheet handy for awhile. I usually hand out this one to new players if I’m running a game in person. All DMs will encourage players to ask questions if they’re confused, but these kinds of cheat sheets are handy to answer the basic ones for themselves, and keep things running a little smoother.

Some people are lore nerds, but you don’t have to be one to play! There’s decades of books, modules, magazine articles, and blog posts about D&D and all the different realms and worlds. If you want to dive deeper into the particular world that your DM is running, that’s great! It’s also perfectly fine if you just want to play and not read novels for the sake of world history. It can be kind of intimidating to play with someone who knows all these names and places you’ve never heard of, but remember - your character is usually hearing about them for the first time too. Just play them like a visitor from a new land, or someone who didn’t travel much outside of their home town. It won’t seem out of place to anyone else, and if you decide you want more information, there are lots of people who can point you in the right direction.

Lastly… don’t do the fandom character thing. I know in some games it’s encouraged to play a character from a video game or movie, but unless that’s the case… don’t show up to a game with Naruto or Batman on your character sheet. I’ve had multiple players, both when I was a DM and a player myself, show up and do this because they wanted to impress people, or just use what they knew best without putting in extra effort. It often takes everyone out of the context of the game, and… it’s not very creative. Don’t be that guy.

D&D is a great way to meet new people, socialize, stretch your creative muscles, and have a lot of fun. It can seem really intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll get to have some great times! Stick with it, and good luck!

Layne was pretty mellow outside of the rock thing. Of course, Kurt Danielson and I did most of the talking when we were hanging out with him. He’d just sit and laugh, make comments every now and then. They’re all really funny guys - they had futures in being comedians if the rock thing didn’t turn out too well. We were in a van, and they were on a touring bus. They always had us riding with them - playing video games and listening to music.

Tad Doyle

Bonus: Let’s Beat Them Into Shape {New Avengers x Fem!Reader}

~Part 3~ The Life of an Avenger: Age of Ultron

Prompt: The training process begins for Steve, Natasha, (Y/N), Wanda, Sam, Rhodey, and Vision. Consider this a montage of ‘this isn’t really working ‘to ‘eh, maybe.’

Warnings: cursing

Originally posted by my-avengers-imagines

 “Faster! Come on, faster!” Natasha ordered Sam, Wanda, and (Y/N) to do sprints back and forth across the training room floor. “I don’t see you sweating, снежинка (snowflake)!” Natasha ordered specifically at (Y/N).

 “It’s all in my asscrack, so you can’t see it!” (Y/N) yelled back dramatically and Natasha had to turn away to avoid laughing. Then, she straightened herself up again, stiff as a board.

 “An extra laps for the insubordinates!” Natasha directed, her face returning to the stoic state it was supposed to be, her red lips tightly shut against laughter.

 “Fuck you, (Y/N),” Sam huffed as he heaved his worn body around to sprint to the other side of the gym.

 “No thanks. I’m with Steve,” (Y/N) answered as she finished the extra two laps ahead of Wanda and Sam, then stood beside Natasha with barely a sweat and smiled up to her. Natasha just shook her head, not daring to look at (Y/N)’s face for fear of breaking her character.

 “I’ll break you eventually,” she threatened poisonously, but (Y/N) just shrugged.

 “I’d rather you broke me, than a condom between Steve and I,” then, she kissed Nat’s cheek and skipped out of the training facility as Sam laid on the floor in a puddle of sweat and Wanda leaned against the wall, wheezing slightly as she held her side. 

 “I love her,” Sam groaned, “but I hate her.”

  “Agreed,” Wanda sighed as she tried to walk, but ended up almost face-fucking the floor mat.

  “So does it hurt?” (Y/N) asked Vision bluntly as they were combining beams of ice and…mind laser? Seriously, though, what are his powers? Are there really any perimeters to his powers?

  “Does what hurt?” Vision asked.

  “Growing a cape from your back?” (Y/N) continued as she dropped the beam. “Like, where does it even come from? How does it really help you in the long-run?”

  “…uh, I do not know exactly, (Y/N),” Vision answered in a daze, for the first time not knowing anything. “It is simply…there, I suppose.”

  “Seems like a waste of fucking time, so, I’ll tell you what I told Loki, straight from the mouth of a great and powerful woman,” (Y/N) shouted over her shoulder, “’No capes!’”

  “Shove it in there! Come on! Shove it up there!” (Y/N)’s loud, yet hushed whispers echoed down the hallway where Steve had just entered, about to start a training session with Sam and (Y/N).

 “It’s too big, (Y/N)!” Sam groaned back. “It won’t fit!”

 “Try harder! You’re so close!” (Y/N) moaned, struggle clear in her voice. “Tighter! Tighter!”

 Steve was baseline murderous.

 ‘One of my best friends! With (Y/N) and…no, no, no, no…’

 “No, no, no, no!” Steve shouted as he rounded the corner, fists raised, ready to fight Sam to the death…then, there was (Y/N) and Sam…big, wide eyes at being caught…shoving one of the punching dummies in Rhodey’s War Machine suit.

 “It was Sam’s idea,” (Y/N) answered quickly, pointing conspicuously at Sam who just looked at her, putting his hand dramatically on his chest like, ‘oh, no you didn’t.’

 “Hell, no! This was all your little lady’s idea!” Sam argued, pointing back at (Y/N).

 “Yeah,” (Y/N) bent over laughing and nodded to Steve. “Yeah, it was totally me.” 

 Steve just looked completely shell-shocked, hands still in tight fists at his side until (Y/N) spotted Rhodey sauntering up the same hallway, his head buried in his tablet.

 “Sam!” (Y/N) whispered and pointed behind Steve.

 “Haul ass!” he whispered back sharply as they threw War Machine into Steve’s limp arms and booked it out of the training facility. Steve slowly turned to Rhodey who just surveyed Steve and shook his head.

 “Man, I expected better of you,” then, grabbed his suit back from Steve’s arms as he clicked his tongue. Steve numbly turned to glare at Sam and (Y/N) as they rolled on the lawn just outside the windows of the training room, laughing their asses off, pushing each other with tears in their eyes.

 “We’re so screwed,” Steve whispered to himself as he brought his hand up to his forehead, listening to the muffled hyenas continue their Comedy Club of stupidity.

  “I dare you…to seduce the dummy,” (Y/N) mused to Wanda who looked taken aback at first, then shrugged because it was just (Y/N) in the training room, and they’d done way weirder shit at their apartment including, and definitely not limited to, making pancakes shaped like aliens and penises, dancing to My Chemical Romance, Destiny’s Child, and Paramore in just their bras and underwear, and getting drunk by watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Steve even caught them waxing each other’s arm pits in their bathroom…twice.

  “Okay,” she shrugged, then she started to hump the red punching dummy, even started to serenade it with, “Barbie Girl,” just as Steve walked in. He stared for a while as Wanda continued to laugh her ass off with (Y/N) who totally saw Steve, but let Wanda continue anyway because, yeah, she was an asshole. A full thirteen seconds later (which, think about it, that’s a lot), she finally realized Steve was there, his arms crossed and face stern with a, ‘we’re all gonna die,’ look on his face. Wanda slowly stopped and looked down to the ground in embarrassment.

  “Come on, Steve,” (Y/N) contended him boisterously, “you gotta admit that’s a chiseled dummy.” Then, she got up and felt the dummy’s abs. “Plastic, yet fantastic!”

  “I am so sorry, Steve,” Wanda apologized. “We decided to play this game and…I really am sorry.”

  “It’s not you, Wanda. Believe me,” Steve glared at (Y/N) who started to hump the dummy and smile at him, “it’s not you.”

  “I feel like I’m riding a Vegas bull sideways!” (Y/N) laughed. “I’m vertical humping! I’m vertical humping!”

  “I have an idea!” (Y/N) exclaimed excitedly as she busted through the doors of the training room just as Rhodey punched Sam in the stomach.

  “Dammit, (Y/N)!” Sam groaned from the ground. “Don’t distract me!” Then, he pointed at Rhodey. “She distracted me!”

  “Don’t be a sore loser,” Rhodey stated as he helped Sam up, “that’s just sad.”

  “What’s your idea, (Y/N)?” Steve asked, slightly concerned, but (Y/N)’s face held no mischief (for once).

  “Ice surfing,” (Y/N) announced proudly. The three guys just looked confused, and (Y/N) sighed. “I was watching The Incredibles when it hit me. Just watch.”

  The three gave her space while she set her eyes on the space before her, hands spiraling in silver magic. Suddenly, she sprinted forward and froze the ground before her and…nothing. She stood on solid ground while a few feet in front of her, the ice extended in a ramp of crystal. Sam clapped mockingly.

  “Encore! Encore!” Sam appreciated sarcastically. “Encore!”

  “Oh! Ice surfing!” Rhodey exclaimed theatrically while (Y/N) just stared at the ground. “No, I get it now. I totally see it.”

  “I’m supposed to be over there,” (Y/N) hypothesized, pointing to the ramp in confusion as she brought her magic back in, then fake laughed at Rhodey and Sam. “And ha, ha, ha, fuck! You two are goddamn comedians! But you still can’t beat me,” she stated as she straightened up.

  “I thought you were funny,” Rhodey nodded to Sam who patted him on the back.

  “Back at you,” Sam affirmed.

  “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” (Y/N) chanted, mocking Sam as she lined up her shot again, Steve watching her extremely carefully. He always did because…well, (Y/N) was crazy.

  “Just show us what you interrupted our unfair fight for, Frozone,” Sam taunted as (Y/N) turned to him with a gasp.

  “You’ve seen-”

  “Yeah, now shut up and do your thing,” Sam huffed at her as she laughed and turned back. Suddenly she ran, hands outstretched, but this time she leaped on the ice like a slip-and-slide. 

  No, really. Like a slip-and-slide. She didn’t really know what she expected on a ramp of fucking ice, but Steve anticipated her fall as he caught her bridal style when she slipped backwards, almost cracking her skull on the linoleum floor.

  “What does this mean?” (Y/N) asked him with wide eyes. “Is this a sign?” she joked, but Steve wished she wasn’t.

  “Guess it means that that,” he pointed at the melting ramp, “won’t work,” Steve concluded as he righted her up.

  “Bullshit,” (Y/N) huffed, blowing the wisps of hair from her face. “If Leonardo DiCaprio can win an Oscar, then I can do this.”

  “Right,” Rhodey rolled his eyes, “because that logic adds up perfectly.”

  “Drop the hatch, Downgraded Iron Man,” (Y/N) quipped.

  “Brr,” Sam shivered, “is it cold in here or is that just me?”

  “No, it’s me, and my good idea,” (Y/N) emphasized.

  This continued on for a good two hours, which nobody objected to because A. (Y/N)’s commentary was rapid-fire, and B. She was actually getting the hang of it. (Y/N) realized she needed to freeze her own feet to the beam, and travel from there. The only issue was melting the restraints before she ran into a wall or something….  

  Okay, it only happened once, but whatever. Shut up about it, alright?

  Anyway, after a few more days…and a few more walls…to the face…she got it! Now, (Y/N) could surf the skies (okay, maybe not the skies, but she could land surf) and it was fucking awesome. Awesome like that bulldog on the skateboard. Like Nicki Minaj breaking Miley Cyrus like a twig in front of the whole world. Like cold pizza for breakfast…literally any day. No special days, just cold pizza, yeah? Fucking awesome like that.

  By the end, the team was in awe. Nat and Steve high-fived because maybe they weren’t completely screwed. Now, all they needed was to get everyone to work together.

  The new team went through several simulations formulated by Tony, who decided that to be a better use of his time than say, oh, mini-Terminators that threaten the planet…cute! Totally on trend.

  Well, the simulators, his charity program, and something else…next chapter, next chapter (a chapter that’s ten times better than this shitshow, but this is what happened before the new Avengers became anything of actual use to the world. I don’t write this stuff, this happened…I swear).

  However, one of the funniest simulations was the third one (the first two were just…let’s just say everyone swore, ankle swore for good measure, to never tell what went on. It was the same way with the OG’s and Mario Kart…just don’t).

  So, the simulation began in a forest, tall trees surrounding each of the Avengers in a hazy aisle of their own, kind of reminding (Y/N) of a beautiful bowling ally…just possibly hiding bloodthirsty demons out to kill her and her friends instead of bowling pins…but, really, no big deal. It seemed like any Slender Man setting she’d ever seen, so she just shrugged and waited for something to happen just like the other Avengers. She waited, and waited, and waited, but nothing happened, so she thought, ‘fuck it,’ and started to scratch out a dick on each of the trees down her aisle on the left hand side with a dagger of ice, not even realizing that Wanda was on the other side of her treeline…doing the exact same shit. 

  Fate is a real kick in the ass, ain’t it?

  So, the simulation goes on when all of a sudden, everyone heard, “Are those…penises?” Sam wondered aloud to the right of (Y/N).

  “You can see them too?” (Y/N) played dumb.

  “I hate Stark,” Natasha mumbled as she tried to kick down the trees, but they were too thick, and the mist behind the treeline were like smoke. Her, Steve, Rhodey, and Vision (the only ones who investigated) couldn’t breath when they tried to roam through it.

  “Can anyone get through the mist?” Rhodey called out and everyone answered, ‘no,’ while Wanda and (Y/N) continued on.

  “No, but Stark is really pissing me off,” Steve grumbled, making (Y/N) cover her mouth from laughter, but she continued on. “Seriously, what the hell is wrong with him?”

  “So, what do we do, Cap?” Sam asked while he sat on a rock and polished his wings.

  “Vision, try slicing the trees…no, you’ll hit someone…Sam can you see anything above the treeline?” Steve ordered.

  Sam looked up from his seat on the rock and shrugged. 


  “I will attempt, Captain Rogers,” Vision amended as he lifted off, but the trees seemed to extend endlessly. Branch by branch they extended into oblivion as Vision’s mind warped with the hallucination drugs used to inspire the simulation. After two minutes of spinning mid-air, he dropped to his knees and breathed out, “Nothing, sir. I cannot seem to reach a premium altitude for maximum surveillance. The hallucination continues to drag me down.”

  “Damn…” Steve whispered. “(Y/N)!”

  “Dicks! What?” (Y/N) whipped her head up too quick, causing the slip of her tongue. “Dude, these dicks just keep coming…cumming….”

  “(Y/N), can you do anything except make dirty puns?” Steve asked. “Seriously, anything.”

  “I can offer you a few sarcastic comments and a hug…no wait,” (Y/N) paused, “we can’t reach each other.”

  “You’re useless,” Steve waved at her, wherever she was, she was waved at. Not that it would’ve mattered to her. She continued hers and Wanda’s mission without much of a care. The simulations were always stupid/ Tony was still working out the kinks.

  “Wanda?” Natasha asked. “Anything from your side?”

  “Just more gifts from Stark,” Wanda stated as she carved another one, but added a bow tie. That was a special tree. “The bastard.”

  “So, when are the bad guys coming?” Sam asked as he picked off a hangnail from his middle finger.

  “After masturbation, duh,” (Y/N) stated. And Wanda had to cover her mouth, breathing heavily from her nose.

  “Like I said,” Steve huffed, “useless.”

  The new Avengers (okay, everyone except (Y/N) and Wanda) continued to discuss their situation and try to solve the issue before them.

  Well, (Y/N) wasn’t having that, so she eventually reached the third to last tree in her line before the drugs would send her back to the beginning, and she noticed a tiny red button near the very back of the tree. And yeah, ‘don’t press the red button! Don’t do it bitch! Don’t push it! The whole place is gonna blow up like a drunk college chick after too much Taco Bell! Don’t push it!’

  She totally pushed it.


  Then, she was back in the Avengers facility. Yep, that was it. Simple and easy. ‘Just always take in your surroundings’ was the message she supposed.

  Turns out, Wanda was ten minutes out behind her while the rest of the team spent three more hours in the simulation, and couldn’t find the tiny red button.

  (Y/N) and Wanda met up for coffee, then went home and napped together on the couch listening to (Y/N)’s “Badlands” vinyl by Halsey.

  “So, if the guards were to catch you during a mission, what would you do?” Steve asked Wanda during their training session while she levitated Steve in the air.

 “Knock them out before they could alert anyone else,” Wanda answered as if it was a test and she was about to be graded critically for it. (Y/N) just rolled her eyes and Wanda glared at (Y/N).

 “Why so smug, (Y/N)? I answered right.” Wanda contended. “What would you do?”

 “Fart,” (Y/N) stated. “That’d clear the room, really knock ‘em dead.”

 “You’re impossible,” Steve huffed as Wanda placed him lightly on his feet. “You’re turn.”

 (Y/N) didn’t even look up from the book she was reading, “Looking for Alaska.” She brought her hand up, and the gust of freezing wind almost knocked Steve into the ceiling while simultaneously freezing his nipples off.

 “(Y/N)! (Y/N)!” Steve yelled in a panic, making (Y/N) peer up from her book.

 “Oh, shit!” (Y/N) exclaimed, wide eyed, but definitely not bushy tailed as she brought him down gently to the floor where he just crossed his arms, waiting for an apology. (Y/N) stared at him, then pointed down at her book. “Alaska’s gonna get lung cancer.” Was all she said and Wanda almost fell over from laughter because she’d read the book, while Steve just glared at her. “Seriously, those cigarettes are gonna turn her lungs to shriveled prunes…like an old lady’s butt,” (Y/N) mused. That broke him.

 “Dammit, (Y/N)!” Steve laughed. “This needs to be serious. We’re about to go on some pretty dangerous missions here.”

 (Y/N) just raised her eyebrow at him like, ‘bitch, really?’ Steve nodded to her and sighed at him own words.

 “Yeah, never mind,” he shook his head at himself, then straightened up. “I want to see what you two were talking about. How you, um, combined your powers, you said? Back in Sokovia.”

 “Oh, yeah!” (Y/N) clapped her hands excitedly, then turned to Wanda and crouched down like a football player in a huddle, Wanda following suit. “We’ve been training our whole four days of our lives for this moment, just you and me, okay?” (Y/N) pointed two fingers at her own eyes, then over to Wanda’s hazel eyes who just narrowed her eyebrows dramatically. “And, break!” (Y/N) clapped once, then they were both standing, shaking themselves off. They both nodded to each other, then began twisting their hands before themselves, creating orbs of red and silver that spiraled together upwards, forming a shield that extended around each other while Steve moved back, safely out of the way. He watched with awed eyes at the beautiful magic around the two girls who smiled at each other in a serious “Twitches” moment, knowing that they were fucking awesome (well, (Y/N) more than Wanda who was still coming out of her shell, but (Y/N) would help her with that). Slowly, they breathed in, dissolving the shield into simply sparks of red and silver glitter that danced in the evening sunlight that streamed through the large, training room windows.

 “Yep, training over for the day,” Steve announced with a huge smile. “That was…something else. I see why the Iron Legion were so afraid of you two.”

 “Aw!” (Y/N) said as she brought her hands to her cheeks and she stode up to Steve. “Don’t make me blush,” she waved her hand at him, then paused. “No, I’m just kidding, keep making me blush.”

 “I love you,” Steve smiled as they shared a small kiss.

 “Right back at you, champ,” (Y/N) smiled, then turned to Wanda. “I’m hungry. You?”

 “Papa John’s?” Wanda asked in a side-smile. After (Y/N) had given Wanda the first slice, oh, God! She fell in love. If their friendship hadn’t already started out great (well, after she decided Ultron was a bag of raging assholes), the pizza just strengthened it more. Pizza is magical, man. Brings the whole world together.

 “Papa John’s!” (Y/N) nodded once, then high-fived her as Steve, (Y/N), and Wanda went back to their apartment. Wanda didn’t have anywhere else to go, so Steve and (Y/N) were more than happy to allow her to stay with them for as long as she needed. Especially after Pietro had just passed, they weren’t going to just leave her…wherever. Wanda would wake up crying in the middle of the night and (Y/N) promised her a shoulder to cry on (just as she had with Tony, Nat, and Bruce) which never went unused, but (Y/N) didn’t mind. She had always wished she had had someone there for her when her own brother died, so at least Wanda wouldn’t have to go through the traumatic experience alone. Wanda appreciated the hell out of both of them. Especially (Y/N).

 Tony was still (Y/N)’s best friend, but Wanda came at a very close second (oh, but then there was Bruce…ugh! And Nat…don’t even mention Clint…no she had a lot of close friends). And, yes, Steve was still the love of her life, and her his. Gosh, anyone could say (Y/N)’s life was wonderful, and at times, it was. But, the life an Avenger was never so fucking simple. Things always seemed to go wrong just when they seemed to go right. Luckily, for now, life seemed pretty good.

  Until honesty gets all up in everyone’s business. Especially (Y/N)’s.

 @niyah-k  |  @smol-flower-kiddo  |  @christiestevenson  |  @xlillywinters  |  @marvelbase001  |  @archer-whovian-violinist  |  @jadenlee1  |  @brewinchesterskywalker  |  @sebastianstanisporn  |  @fudgeweenie  |  @kihvyn  |  @tashsole

*follow and like for more*

*I rushed on this one because I’m heading off to work now. The next ones will be better (hopefully)*

Anime Festival Asia 2015 aka AFASG2015

Anime Festival Asia 2015 (AFASG15), the region’s biggest premier festival for Japanese Popular Culture and anime, last weekend from the 27 November - 29 November 2015, offering the latest content and action-packed activities. Held at Suntec City Convention Centre, Anime Festival Asia saw over 80,000 local and international visitors last year.

The whole of level 3 & 4 has been taken up for this year’s AFA.This is great news as the amount of cosplayers & people attending has significantly increased over the years. 

Our favourite part of the event would be the Creators Hub. There is 100 booths of fan-made merchandise ranging from badges, prints, bookmarks & more! All at all the beautiful & lovely works!

Look at the crowd!

Here is a booth from one of our favourite artist, Pandabaka.

There is the Asia Anisong Auditions (AAA) booth where people could sing it out.

Not forgetting the cute & fancy figurines…

Other than the exhibitions there was the I Love Anisong REBOOT Concert that took place that features performers such as…

Friday 27 November
Opening Act: Usagi & AkatsukiRin
Concerts: Airmer, BACK-ON, bless4, HoneyWorks/CHiCo with HoneyWorks, ZAQ

Saturday 28 November
Opening act: Majiko and mikitoP
Concerts: P’s LIVE! (ft. Ayana Taketatsu, Maaya Uchida, Suzuko Mimori, MICHI, Shiori Mikami, Yumiri Hanamori and Yurika Endo)

Sunday 29 November
Opening act: DJ YURIA
Concerts: GARNiDELiA, Lia, May’n, Mika Kobayashi ft. Tetsuro Shimaguchi (KAMUI) and nano.

There were so many know artists, the concert must have been a blast!

We got to listen to Majiko at the Akiba Mini Stage.

Various stage events took place at the MAIN STAGE, showcasing various anime such as Charlotte, One Punch Man & The Asterisk War. We laughed till we had tears as we watch the comedians from Japan pulling off their skits. 

More photos of various stores at AFA!

In summary, AFA has been a blast! Anime Festival Asia sure didn’t disappoint us! After all, it has grown to be one of the events that we have always looked forward to going to every year~!


Shimazaki Haruka
      The idol who isn’t sweet. Finally in the Kami range.

[Thank you :D - Team A’s Shimazaki Haruka]

Surpassing our 1st-3rd gen senpai is difficult. But, I feel like I was able to tear down some “walls” this year.

It’s your first time in the “Kami 7”, congratulations.
Thank you very much! I ranked even higher than I imagined so I was shocked.

How were you feeling in the days leading up to the general election?
Last year, I was worried if I’d be able to make it into senbatsu, but this year, I didn’t care about my ranking as much and was feeling more comfortable. Although I was thinking “I hope I can rank higher than last year”, I didn’t feel too pressured and I was able to stay relaxed.

And your result was the impressive 7th place. You held back the 1st gen members Kojima Haruna-san and Takahashi Minami-san; how are you reacting to this ranking?
Well, it’s something that I still can’t believe. For 9th place and for 8th place, when I heard “Team A”, I thought “It’s me!”, but my name wasn’t called and I kept thinking “Why!?” in shock. Our senpai in 1st-3rd gen are as expected, very strong, but despite us kouhai being told that we haven’t grown enough, I was able to come this far as a 9th gen; I feel like I was able to tear down a “wall” and it makes me very happy. I feel like I can pat myself on the back a little now (laughs).

Looking at the Kami 7 members, I realized that “the generation exchange” was becoming a reality.
I wonder how it is. When I calmly thought about it, I’m often given a center position in Team A so I did feel like if I didn’t rank highly, I didn’t have a right to that position. But still, I’m no match for my senpai when it comes to visibility or popularity. So that’s why, even now, I don’t at all feel like “I beat my senpai!”. More than that, I feel shocked that I was beat by my kouhai…

Which kouhai is that?
6th place’s Sayanee is my kouhai. I think there was about a 300 vote difference between the 2 of us? I was honestly shocked. Being beat by my senpai or by same-gen members is fine, but I of course wanted to win against my kouhai. Because of my pride (laughs). If I’m in the general election again next year, I want to win against all my kouhai.

But Shimazaki-san’s increase in votes was amazing. You had more than 10,000 votes more than last year. What do you think, looking back at this past year?
I had more work for women’s magazines, and I was able to collaborate with the card game “Aikatsu!” which is really popular among girls in elementary and junior high school, so I have more women and children coming to my handshake events. I wonder if I had more of their votes. It makes me happy to have people of all age groups supporting me.

Except, at those handshake events, you were still considered “salty” again this past year (laughs).
I wanted to try harder, but it was impossible (laughs). After last year’s general election, I thought to myself “The handshake events are an important part of the AKB48 group so since I’m one of the members, I need to work hard” “I’ll become more likable”!
But, I got too tired after all (laughs). And I feel like, if you’re going to try hard at the handshake events, you have to surpass Kashiwagi-san or Milky or Suda-chan. But those girls are amazingly strong-willed and I could never compete with them. So in that case, instead of forcing myself to try hard, I’d rather everyone come to like my plain, true self.

So instead of being buried, you think it’s better to stand out, even if it’s not for something positive.
No, for an idol, I think it’s better to be an individual who can please everyone with positive attributes. But since there are this many members, it’d be boring if everyone was the same and I think it’s not okay to just be normal. I may never be someone who’s liked by everyone, but I want people who are like me to empathize with me. I think that even at a company, there are people who can’t always bring tea to their superiors with a smile. I think it’d be great if people like that could empathize with me and come to like me.

But honestly, aren’t there lots of times when it’s easier just to keep smiling? Was this last year where you decided to always be your true self ever sad?
There were a lot of times that I was beat up over it, but now, I don’t care as much whether or not I’m liked. Because, there will always be someone who understands me. With this year’s general election, I’m really so proud of my fans. I’m grateful that they’d even support someone as moody as me and I want to be able to give back even more to them. The truth is, if my rank dropped from last year at this year’s general election, I was going to start seriously thinking about my graduation.

You were!?
But now, I want to continue on in this group, and experience more dramas and jobs; as a senpai, I feel like I want to be able to convey something to my kouhai. Because I was brought up in AKB48, even if I were to graduate, I’d still want lots of kouhai to come after me. Especially the members after 9th gen, they have a difficult time making it into senbatsu and are always relying on their senpai; I want to continue to support them. And I think it’d be great if someday, 1st-16th place could all be AKB48 members. ….But, even if I say something like this, I could end up staying in AKB48 for a couple more decades (laughs).

Shimazaki-san, what is it that you want to convey to your juniors?
To not make flirtation their selling point, I guess (laughs). Charm is important and something that I long for. But, there are some members who just aren’t good at being charming. So when I see them being misunderstood because of it, it makes me want to cheer for them. And if it’s a member that I see working hard with my own eyes, I want to make sure everyone knows that “it’s just a misunderstanding”. Members who lack charm work harder in order to increase their appeal so it makes me want to back them up.

I see. I think that because it’s Shimazaki-san, you particularly have the means of backing them up. Incidentally, this past year, I’m sure you’ve had a lot of opportunities to work with Watanabe Mayu-san as “MayuParu”, but have you spoken any words of congratulations to Watanabe-san for winning first place?
I messaged her that night, once the election was over. What I told her is a secret though (laughs). I was really happy and I wanted to let her know “With this, we can be relieved about the future of AKB48”. I’m the same age as Mayu-san, but I guess since she’s my senpai, there’s still a huge part of me that relies on her. Being next to Mayu-san this past year, whose comments and smile are always so perfect, I was able to act very freely. I just said whatever I wanted and then Mayu-san would wrap it all up for me.

It sounds like a comedian duo’s relationship.
It’s really like that! I already went ahead and thought of us as a duo. With irresponsible me around, Mayu-san stands out even more, and maybe my individuality becomes more prominent. Right now, I’m experiencing the happiness that comes with being by Mayu-san’s side.

Well then, please tell us your goals for this next year.
In this past year, I was able to make it into senbatsu, but I was always wondering what the fans thought of me. There were times when I felt uncomfortable and gloomy because I’d be standing in front even though my rank was lower……But, since I received the wonderful position of 7th place this year, I’m feeling very grateful. Many of my fans say that they want to see me act more, so I’ll work hard this next year so that I can appear in more dramas and movies! Thank you so much for liking someone like me.

Shimazaki Haruka
Nickname: Paruru
Birthday: March 30, 1994
Birthplace: Saitama Prefecture
Belongs to: AKB48 Team A
                     AKB48 9th gen
Her activities for this past year: She appeared in 11 commercials. Her photobook “Paruru, Komaru.” was 1st in the Oricon Yearly Ranking for Solo Photobooks.


Why comedies need to up their game:

This guy is amazing. Perfectly articulates my problems with modern comedies.

I haven’t been a fan of the comedies coming out lately. The “This Is The End"s, the "The Heat"s, the "Neighbors"s, but I’ve been saying it all wrong. The actors and comedians in these movies are very funny, but I’ve always felt insulted that they were some how phoning it in. That they were just funny people improvising funny conversations in front of cameras.

My favorite comedy is the kind that mixes wit, dialogue, and physical comedy with the unsuspected or misdirection. With film and cameras we have this beautiful gift of the frame that isn’t used often enough.

Lately, I’ve been rewatching Scrubs on Netflix (it’s one of my favorite shows ever) and after watching the above video, I now realize why. Scrubs uses the medium to it’s full ability. It’s also one of the reasons I like single-camera sitcoms worlds more than multi-camera sitcoms.

Watch this scene from Scrubs:

I love watching stuff like this, and even more so, I love knowing that I love watching stuff like this. Now I can bring it over to my work.

Never stop learning!