A New Netflix Original Release: Yasuke

Here lately, I’ve run out of anime that looks interesting to me at the outset, so I started checking out anime news sources to see what’s going on in the anime world I’d be missing.

First of all, if you’re an anime fan and don’t know what’s up with Anime News Network (ANN), check it out.

I happened to have the pleasure of checking out an interview from ANN with LeSean Thomas, the executive producer of a new anime hitting Netflix on Thursday called Yasuke.

You can watch the interview here.

Yasuke is the story of a black samurai who is an actual historical figure. He was a retainer for the daimyo Oda Nobunaga.

Yasuke arrived in Japan in 1579 in the service of an Italian Jesuit missionary.

The animation from the trailer and the music is beautiful and artfully done. (Watch it here.)

Again, season 1 is coming to Netflix on Thursday, and I, for one, will be watching it when it releases.

Mugen Train’s Fiery Segue into Season 2 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

The story of the Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku featured in the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba movie Mugen Train blazes a path forward into season 2 of the series.

The movie released in the US on April 23, 2021, and was a box office hit grossing $22,789,600 on the first day.

The film picked up where season 1 ended.

Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu were sent on a mission to the Mugen Train to meet up with the Flame Hashira Rengoku.

This pairing is due in part to Tanjiro’s questions about his father and the Hinokami Kagura, which relates in some way to the flame breathing technique.

The season finale itself immaculately set up the plot and storyline for Mugen Train.

The film was action-packed with displays of various techniques and complex storylines.

Once Tanjiro and the others resolved the issue with the train, the film began to close with an intense battle between Rengoku and the Upper 3rd Demon, Akaza.

Rengoku had to keep everyone alive to fulfill his mission. Honoring his mother’s memory, Rengoku shows his true fighting spirit and sense of justice.

Rengoku responded that growing old and dying was the beauty of being human after Akaza offered to turn Rengoku into a demon so they could fight each other forever.

What made the ending heart-wrenching wasn’t just because of the death of the quirky but loveable Flame Hashira.

His wise words to Tanjiro, the flashbacks on notable scenes from his life, and the vision of his mother made Rengoku’s final moments more robust and tender.

All this while there was a demon arm sticking out of his chest.

Rengoku didn’t waiver in his core beliefs, but he did have a change of heart when it came to Nezuko, a demon who is a member of the Demon Slayer Corps.

Rengoku’s acceptance is significant because when Tanjiro first met the Hashira, Rengokuwas among those who could not accept Nezuko. He voted to chop off Tanjiro’s head before being put on trial.

The news of Rengoku’s death traveled quickly to the other Hashira. There were tears, expressions of anger, and a pledge to kill all the demons. Will Rengoku’s last words to Tanjiro hold up with the other Hashira who have yet to accept Nezuko?

The death of Rengoku may also foreshadow two things. First, someone will have to fill Rengoku’s place. It could very well be Tanjiro once he has a better grasp of the Hinokami Kagura and how to use it.

It could also spell death for more Hashira, particularly if anyone behaves rashly regarding Rengoku’s death.

Ubuyashiki, head of the Corps., praised the fact that there were no replacements between the meeting that was Tanjiro and Nezuko’s trial and the one before. However, Ubuyashiki’s reaction to Rengoku’s death also hints that his ability, aside from having a soothing voice, may have a clairvoyant aspect to it.

The expected release of Demon Slayer Season 2 is in the latter part of 2021.

Top 5 Supporting Characters from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

If you want to talk about anime classics, let’s take a moment to appreciate Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a 5 part anime series about the Joestar family, particularly those whose names begin with J (with one exception whose name starts with G.)

It begins with Jonathan Joestar, an average British guy who was a gentleman through and through.

He had the misfortune of crossing paths with a Mr. Dio Brando, who will wreak havoc for Joestars through several generations.

Along the way, each Joestar following Jonathan meets some great characters, good and bad.

Today we’ll list 5.

5. Speedwagon

Speedwagon is probably one of the most loyal characters and a hype man, even after his death with the Speedwagon Foundation. Speedwagon came into the story as a ruffian on the streets of London with a hat that’s like a boomerang blade. After his fight with Jonathan Joestar, Speedwagon changes his ways and becomes a big supporter of the Joestar family. He last appears in part 2 with the grandson of Jonathan, Joseph Joestar, and much like our number one on this list, Speedwagon is an influential character to the story directly and indirectly in all five parts.

4. Bruno Bucciarati

Bruno Bucciarati is not just a handsome character. He is also a badass. He appears in part 5 as a leader of a segment of an Italian gang. Bucciarati is a stand user whose stand is named Zipperman. He can put a zipper anywhere to zip and unzip anything, including creating them on people. Bucciarati is a just leader, or at least as just as a gangster can be, and his sense of justice strengthened when he met one Giorno Giovanna (our Jojo with a G.)

3. Guido Mista

Guido Mista is another Jojo character from Jojo part 5. Mista’s stand is called 6 Pistol, consisting of 6 bullets— 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7. There is no number 4 because 4 is an unlucky number for Misra. He is a calm guy in a crop top that is a characteristic of male fashion in Jojo. Mista made the list because of his calm character, and his relationship with his stand is adorable and is unique amongst all stands and users. One notable characteristic of this is he makes sure his stand eats lunch at the same time every day, whereas most stands don’t eat.

2. Rohan Kishibe

Rohan Kishibe is a character that appears in Jojo part 4. He is a mangaka (manga artist) who lives in the town of Morioh. His stand’s name is Heaven’s Door which turns the victim’s features, particularly the face, into a book. Rohan is known to go on his own bizarre adventures as he immerses himself in research as source material for his stories. Rohan is towards the top of this list because he’s an intelligent, practical character who has a very serious knack for the petty. Rohan also has his own spin-off shows that are fantastic.

1. Dio Brando

Dio has to be hands down the best and most iconic villain in history. He is the reason why extreme poses are associated with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Dio’s story starts when he is taken in by Jonathan Joestar’s dad. There is no real indication of why Dio is such a jerk to Jonathan, and there is no real reason why he should be the bane of the existence of Jonathan’s descendants. The reason he is at the top of the list is because of how prolific he is as far as just being a villain and his influence is over the story either directly or indirectly in all five parts. When he is present, this man has some of the best one-liners in the whole show.

If you’ve never seen Jojo, you can check it out on Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll.

The Rohan Kishibe spin-offs are available on Netflix.

Also, definitely read the manga.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

Reading Manga: Physical vs. Digital

As I sit here looking at my poor bookshelf, I can’t help but think about the evolution of reading.

I started collecting manga when I was in middle school, and I believe my first series was Peach Girl by Miwa Ueda.

If you don’t know about the series, it follows Momo, who is blonde because that’s her natural hair color, and tan because she was on the swim team.

However, her “best friend” Sae is basically out to ruin her life for seemingly no good reason, and unfortunately, Momo is an easy target.
People who look like Momo tend to have a bad reputation, so Momo is easily the butt of the rumor mill, and Sae is the miller.

The Peach Girl collection grew to Chobits by CLAMP, then Dragon Knights by Mineko Okhami, and so on.

My bookshelf is inundated with my book collection; however, I haven’t purchased a physical manga in years though, thanks to the advent of smartphones and apps.

An app can give you access to EVERYTHING without accumulating a lot of books to find space for.

My favorite manga reading apps include the Shonen Jump app and the Viz Media app.

Both of these have allowed me to keep up with One Piece, Black Clover, and soon I’m going to start reading Yona of the Dawn because the anime ended way too soon, and that made me a little sad.

Something about it not being popular enough or whatever.

Yona is good. You should read/watch it. Just watch out for Su Won.

That guy makes me want to throw things.

Anyway, each has its pros and cons, and it depends on how you like to read in general.

I love digital because my phone is always in my hand anyway, and up until recently, I was moving around a lot.

One of my best friends prefers print because she likes to physically hold the book and be able to look at her collection.

She pointed out that her vast collection is partially my fault because the first manga she got was a gift from me.

Physical or digital, whatever your manga reading preferences, remember to turn or swipe to the right.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

The issue with over compartmentalization

Greetings readers,

It’s been a while!

My bad…

I have something that’s been sitting in my mind, that seems to be beneficial but it’s actually irksome.

Over compartmentalization…

Now on the surface it seems like a good thing.

It creates more jobs for more people.

It allows people to get more specialized knowledge.

Putting more compartments into a thing makes it better.

Or does it…

Let’s continue with a mechanical metaphor.

The extra cogs benefit the machine when all the cogs are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

However when some of the cogs aren’t doing what their job properly, it prevents more cogs from working than it realizes.

This really grinds the gears of the cogs that actually want to perform their function properly.

It creates a sickness in the machine that is not noticeable at first if noticed at all.

When it does become noticeable though the keeper of the machine decides to dispose of that area entirely.

The good cogs and bad cogs get thrown out because it’s easier to start over than it is to repair the area.

Thus everything gets replaced, but there really is no marked improvement.

The cure doesn’t fix the symptoms because the powers that be are focused on quantity of cogs instead of quality.

Oh and don’t become an old cog…

The powers that be seem to really stop caring about how hard you worked before you aged out of being part of the machine.

The cogs metaphor is intentional.

When looking at people as numbers or things the owner of the machine never being a cog himself knows there’s a sickness.

However, never being a cog himself doesn’t understand how to create the cure.

This maintains the cycle known as the status quo.

It’s hard to challenge the status quo at the bottom or as the smallest cog.

There are boundaries that prevent the issues from adequately being solved.

Even if you went against the groove the powers that be can easily replace you with a cog that falls in line.

That is the nature of the beast, and trying to be the best damn cog you can be while wrestling the beast gets really old… really fast.

Fancy Hamburger Goolash

Alright, here’s another quick and somewhat easy recipe.

If you don’t have some of these spices, you can omit them and it’ll be just as good.

You can also omit everything except what I call the holy trinity—salt, pepper, and oregano.

Feel brave? Throw in a jalapeño or red pepper flakes.

I have to tell you, my cooking isn’t an exact science, and as you can see A LOT of things are interchangeable.

All I can say is that there are certain spices you CANNOT be heavy handed with.

Here we go. Here’s what you’re going to need.

  • Rice (I like to use uncooked rice to start but minute rice works)
  • Ground beef
  • Cooking oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic (I use the preminced stuff)
  • Bell peppers
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Paprika
  • Tumeric
  • Cumin
  • Tomato sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar (or nah.)

So let’s get it.

Load your rice into your rice cooker. Doesn’t matter what kind. If you use minute rice put it directly into the meat sauce AT THE END.

Chop your onions and bell peppers.

Put your cooking oil in the pan, turn it on medium heat.

Toss in your onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.

Add bell pepper.

Then add your ground beef. And add my holy trinity of spices— salt, pepper, and oregano.

Let it brown.

Since my roommate doesn’t like vinegar, I do this next to cook out the ACV as much as possible. DO NOT be heavy handed with it, you will regret it (one tablespoon or less)

Then add your other spices. I’ll tell you the ones to not be heavy handed with:

Clove will make it too aromatic no more than a half teaspoon.

Coriander, omit if you’re really sensitive to cilantro.

Now, hit it with the holy trinity (salt, pepper, and oregano)

Add the tomato sauce. Let it bubble.

If your rice is not done turn your meat to simmer.

Add rice in when it’s done.

If you are using minute rice, dump it in, stir and let it cook until the rice is done.

Now it is time to eat. Enjoy.

Classically,

Angela

My first crack at Dorito Casserole

If you’re looking for a healthy recipe, this ain’t it.

If you’re looking for a quick meal that is greasy, cheesy heaven in your mouth, this recipe is for you.

If you got kids they can help with this one too.

I’m not going to inundate you with an elaborate back story.

It was my turn to cook and we decided to try this because we kept buying Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell.

So here’s what you’ll need.

  • A casserole dish
  • Ground beef
  • Cooking oil
  • Family size Doritos
  • Shredded cheese, doesn’t really matter what kind.
  • A packet of Taco Bell taco seasoning
  • A can of tomato sauce
  • Cream of mushroom soup (trust me on this it binds your taco meat)
  • Garnish with sour cream and possibly other taco toppings.

Pre heat your oven to 400.

Put a pan on the stove at medium heat (or medium high depending on your stove and pan) add your cooking oil.

You know your pan is hot enough when the oil kind of spreads on the bottom. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom.

Brown your ground beef.

Add the tomato sauce, cream of mushroom, and the taco packet, mix well let it kind of bubble. Remove from heat.

If you have kids they’ll probably love to help you with this part. Start crushing them Doritos.

I added Doritos first as a bottom layer.

Then the meat layer. Add some of the cheese. Some more Doritos.

If you have left over ground beef, do ground beef, cheese, then top it off with Doritos and cheese.

Modification: if you don’t want to do layers, put the meat in the bottom, put on the Doritos, and then the cheese.

For this part you can’t wander too far from the oven because it won’t take long for everything to bake and melt, about 10-15 minutes.

Don’t forget your oven mitts, set that thing on the stove.

Add toppings or don’t, but it’s time for a mouth full of greasy cheesy joy.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

I’m Still Here

Hellooooooo…

I just wanted to pop in to let you all know…

I haven’t forgotten about my blog.

I’ve been writing rather prolifically, but it’s been fan fiction.

It is not likely that I will share these novels (some of these are 50,000 words long and there are 10 different ones) but I will say I’m glad that I’m putting time and effort into something…

Even though I’ll probably be the only person reading it.

If you aren’t sure what fan fiction is, it’s when you take something that already exists, but write your own plot lines.

At this point though I’ve created enough scenarios and original characters that I could put them all together to make my own original work.

I don’t know. We will see.

The point is I haven’t stopped writing. I just stopped sharing the things that I write.

I also wanted to let everyone know that I’m still here.

Until next time (hopefully sooner rather than later).

Classically,

Angela

Short Story: Outside the Window

In order to improve my writing, I have looked for various resources for ideas.

I stumbled on a list of writing prompts that I’ve decided to work through.

I may not share all of them with you, but some will make their way into my blog.

This particular prompt directed me to write about the weather outside my window or if that was boring the weather of somewhere I wish I could be.

I opted for somewhere I wish I could be, so without further ado, here is…

Outside My Window

The frosty breeze cuts through the cracks around the window seam, bringing some of the chilly air inside.

A chill that is challenged by a warm fire in a regal brick chimney, guarded by a beautiful golden gate inside the cabin.

As I sit in my chair by the fire, wrapped in a blanket drinking hot tea, I see the glistening snow outside of my cabin in the Rocky Mountains.

My comfy T-Rex slippers and the warmth of the fire protect my feet from the chill on the tile floor as I get up to look more closely.

The sky is clear as the sun is setting in a sea of white.

The only indication of the distant forest is the broad trunks of mighty trees.

The air is so cool that the snow remains unbothered by the sunlight.

As the moon began to rise, the clear sky twinkled with many stars.

It’s near impossible to see this many stars in the city.

Clouds started to roll in as I moved back to my seat by the fire, putting my feet up and wrapping myself back up in my Spongebob quilt.

It was very likely that the clouds were bringing fresh snow to drip into the vast expanse of snow outside my window.

My assumption was confirmed as I nodded off.

Little white specs fell gently from the sky.

It was a beautiful scene to set the tone for sweet dreams.

I hope you enjoyed this short story.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

8 Podcasts to Listen to

I’ve come to that point in my life where I listen to more podcasts than music.

It really gets me to listen to other people’s ideas and opinions that matter to me.

It also gives me a perspective that may be different from mine.

It’s the new age version of watching the news or talk shows without all the bells, whistles, and bull crap.

I have a rotation of ones I love.

I thought I would share those with you today.

Becoming Bulletproof with Tracy O’Malley

This is my number one go to podcasts for many reasons.

First, what hooked me was how she talked about the evolution of Howard Stern in the first episode.

Second, how she shares the Enneagram.

If you don’t know what the enneagram is, it’s a nine personality type system of getting to know yourself that’s been around for centuries.

That may be an oversimplification, but the self-discovery is fascinating.

The interviews are spectacular.

Tracy interviews in a way that is more like a conversation.

The Mindset Mentor with Rob Dial

This is the OG podcast that got me started on podcasts.

I love this one because Rob likes to keep things as concise as possible while dropping mind blowing tips.

Usually he gives out the advice or wisdom in fifteen minutes or less.

It’s the perfect podcast for a commute to work or to school or wherever it is you need to get to in life.

ProjectME with Tiffany Carter

I actually found this podcast through her interview with Tracy O’Malley.

I love how unfiltered the truth and advice is given on this show.

Tiffany doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to her ideas and how those ideas help people.

She is also very open about her life experiences and how those experiences made her who she is today.

The Tim Ferris Show

I recently discovered this podcast from an email newsletter I get from Zach Spear, founder of MLM Rebels.

What hooked me was his interview with Sia.

I always thought she was weird. The good kind of weird.

This interview confirms that I love Sia and Tim’s style of interviewing people.

They can be long, but the conversations never miss a beat or get boring.

There are lots of nuggets of wisdom and it just feels more conversational than like an interview.

Tim also has a compelling email newsletter that breaks down what he was up to that week as far as his podcasts interviews, reflections on quotes, and books he happened to be reading.

On Purpose with Jay Shetty

This is another podcast where the interviews can get conversational with nuggets of wisdom all throughout.

It’s no surprise to me because Jay Shetty actually used to be a monk.

I think that’s part of what makes his perspective interesting to me.

He is out here asking the real questions and he helps you to dig a little deeper.

And when I say “asking the real questions” I mean it.

Jay doesn’t piddle around with surface level stuff it makes you dig deep and think hard.

The Ziglar Show with Kevin Miller

My love of Zig Ziglar and his wisdom is some of my favorite stuff.

They incorporate that wisdom throughout while addressing topics such as having dreams so big they scare you.

Unf*ck Your Brain with Kara Lowenthal

I basically love how she calls the listeners her chickens and she has a really soothing voice.

That’s not all I love though.

There is so much empowerment in this podcast.

She talks a lot about situations that kind of mess us up and how to overcome them.

Greatness Radio with Les Brown

If you don’t know Les Brown, you should because he is a legend.

Most of these podcasts I got into after I stepped in the field of an entrepreneur.

Les has guided many people to greatness including our main man who shaped our childhoods, Walt Disney.

Les just reminds you of how much greatness is already in each of us and how to cultivate it.

What are some of your favorite podcasts?

Until next time.

Sincerely,

Angela