Manga Review: Skip*Beat! By Yoshiki Nakamura

skip beat

Skip*Beat! By Yoshiki Nakamura

Genre: Shoujo (Romance) / Comedy

First Released: 2002

Number of vols: 35+

Brief Synopsis: When her childhood best friend, Sho Fuwa, tosses her aside like last week’s breakfast after becoming famous, Kyoko Mogami vows to enter show business and become even more popular and famous than him.

Where can I find it in the library?
This will be on the second floor of the library in the Vortex.

Call Number: YAGRAPHIC NAKAMURA

Spoiler-free Commentary

I didn’t think anything could be cuter than Dengeki Daisy, but I was wrong (and I love me some Dengeki!).

Unlike a lot of shoujo manga leads, Kyoko is not driven by her desire to be loved by someone. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. She is driven by hatred and rage. She felt used by her childhood friend and will stop at nothing to get back at him. That’s what makes her so interesting! I love that about her. She’s so extremely determined that she puts her entire self into everything she does. Once she gets an idea in her head (getting revenge against Sho), she is going to give it her all and nothing can save you if you get in her way.

Nakamura doesn’t write flat main characters; the other characters are just as interesting as Kyoko, if not more so. Without spoiling anything, many of them are very multi-dimensional as you learn about them with every volume.

On Crunchyroll, there is also an anime version as well available to watch but I haven’t seen it yet. I enjoy the manga so much that I was worried it would ruin it for me somehow. Maybe once the series ends (which only Nakamura knows when that’ll be) I’ll give it a try. If you’ve seen it and think its worth watching, reply below in the comments!

However, If you’ve already read all of Skip Beat that’s out so far AND seen all of the anime, I also recommend reading Otomen by Aya Kanno! The series is complete and the library also owns all the volumes! Check it out today!
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Ashe

Thank You Iwata-san

As most of you probably heard by now, Iwata Satoru, the CEO for Nintendo passed away. He was Nintendo’s fourth President. It is thanks to him that we have our current Nintendo gaming systems; he came up with the idea for the Nintendo DS and Wii after the flop of the Gameboy Advance and Gamecube.

What made Iwata-san so great was that he really loved gaming. He wasn’t just a CEO, he was a gamer. It was this attitude that brought Nintendo to new heights. He said it best himself: “On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.”

While he was not the president of Nintendo when I was growing up as a kid, for me, Iwata represents the feeling gaming gave me as a child. My parents had the first Nintendo console in America, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). We would sit down and play together and figure out (and argue over) how to beat the bosses in Mario and Zelda. (As an aside: man, the first Zelda game was HARD and the dungeon music still gives me the creeps to this day. I have to play it with the sound on mute. Seriously. Go listen for yourself. I’ll wait.) I would even sneak out of bed at night and watch them play; I couldn’t get enough during the daytime!

This togetherness that Nintendo brought to my family, Iwata-san wanted for everyone. He wanted gaming to be for all ages, young and old alike (Hence the name of the Wii consoles, it’s a pun off of “we”). He wanted Nintendo to be something that would bring families and friends together, like it did for mine.

So thank you Iwata-san. Thank you for making Nintendo what it is today. Thank you for wanting gaming to be all-inclusive. We will never forget you or your accomplishments.

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Ashe

Superhero VS. Villain Showdown—Week 5

The fourth round of voting in the Superhero VS. Villain Showdown is complete. Week 5 voting will run Monday, July 13 – Sunday, July 19.  Votes will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Regal 12 movie theater gift card! One vote per person, per week.

Thor decimated Wolverine while Doomsday didn’t stand a chance versus Ultron and his army of machines.

Here are the match-ups for Round 5.

Superheroes & Villains Meet! 

Thor vs Ultron

Who will be the last one standing as victor? Cast your votes online or in the Vortex!
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Ashe

Ten DOs and DON’Ts of Cosplay

Is Post-Con Depression setting in now that Anime Midwest and Anime Expo are over? Don’t despair! On July 17th from 5:30 P.M. to 9 P.M. here in the Vortex, we are holding an after-hours Mini Comic-Con for grades 6-12! To register, click here.

Parental Permission slips will be required to complete your registration and can be picked up in the Vortex!

As cosplay is a big part of conventions there are some simple things to keep in mind when cosplaying!

Do

1. Have Fun!

I put this as the first and foremost tip because it’s something easily forgotten. As stressful as it can be scrambling to put together a cosplay in time for a convention (Nothing gives you motivation like a deadline!), it’s all worth it to be able to have fun with other people who are in the same fandom as you.

2. Pick a Character You Like & Get to Know Them

Avoid cosplaying characters that you really don’t like and are only doing it out of obligation to someone else. You may feel like you’re letting a friend down by saying no, but it’ll work out better in the long run to come to a compromise with that friend and choose characters you both like! This way you both get to have fun and aren’t stuck in a costume you didn’t want to be in, in the first place. Nothing ruins the fun of cosplay like coercion!

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Ron Stoppable is one of my favorite characters from Kim Possible. This expression. I love it. I wonder if they practiced it in a mirror before the con! (Taken at Con-Alt-Delete 2014)

Okay! The character is picked out! Your outfit is on schedule! But! How well do you know your character? If it’s a character you don’t know as well try to do a small bit of research. Are there any notable catchphrases they have? Any iconic poses? A well posed shot can sometimes be all it needs to take a good cosplay to great! This also leads well into the next tip.

3. Be Prepared for Someone to Ask to Take Your Picture

Pictures and Cosplay go hand-in-hand. Everyone loves to be able to look back and remember that awesome cosplay they saw at a convention! I freaked out at Anime Central when two of my friends were cosplaying as Jack Frost (Rise of the Guardians) and Elsa (Frozen). I think if they ever met, they would make the cutest couple. Even though they’re friends, you bet I still asked before taking their photo!

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Apparently Elsa was not as stoked about this pairing as I was. (Taken at Anime Central 2015)

4. Have a Backup Outfit in Case of Emergencies
You never know if the weather will end up being too hot or too cold or (heaven forbid) you get something spilled on your cosplay. Have at least one extra pair of clothes with you in the car or hotel room (if you have one) for a worst-case scenario! Doesn’t matter if it’s plainclothes or another cosplay, just have a backup of something to wear! It never hurts to be a little over-prepared.

5. Bring a Small Sewing Kit for Any Repairs Needed

Oh no! You snagged your cosplay on something and there’s a slight tear in it now! Never fear! For your handy-dandy sewing kit is here because you remembered to bring one! For your emergency kit I recommend: one or two sewing needles, a spool or two of thread that matches the cosplay that may need repairing, a small handful of different sized safety pins, and some scissors. Doing this has saved me on more than one occasion! If you don’t need it, you may run into someone else who does. We’re all in this together!

Don’t

1. Think You Need to Have the Perfect Cosplay

Everyone has different budgets and skill levels so never feel discouraged if it isn’t up to the expectations you had in your head right away. Practice! Practice! Practice! I have to remind myself of this constantly because I am a perfectionist and want everything perfect on the first try with zero effort because my brain thinks this is magic-happy-land where that’s even plausible.

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Look how creative these genderbent Auron and Seymour (Final Fantasy X) are! If they had worried about being perfect, this awesomeness would have never have existed! (Taken at Anime Midwest 2015)

2. Forget to do a Makeup Test Before the Con

Doing a cosplay such as a troll from Homestuck that requires intensive makeup? Do a makeup test at least a few days before the con (regardless if your outfit is together or not) to make sure you do not have a reaction to the makeup you are using. Test a small patch of makeup on your hand or lower arm to make sure there will be no issues! If you are putting makeup on your arms and hands. Seal, seal, seal it! And seal it again! You don’t want it rubbing off on furniture or other people! Eek!

3. Feel Bad if You See Someone Else Cosplaying the Same Character

Some people may feel the desire to compare yourself to others cosplaying the same person as you. Resist! Do not submit to that! For in that way lies madness (and unnecessary jealousy). Instead of comparing yourself, use this as an ice breaker instead! Introduce yourself. Get a photo with them. You guys obviously have something in common if you’re both the same character! It’s an opportunity to make a new friend instead!

4. Be a Cosplay Snob

A cosplay snob is when someone intentionally says hurtful things to criticize someone else’s cosplay whether in front of them or behind their back. This is completely separate from constructive criticism. It is fine to give helpful tips to other cosplayers if you are already having a conversation together about cosplay. It’s a completely separate issue to say mean things about an outfit because it isn’t up to some imagined unrealistic standards of cosplay. As stated earlier, everyone has different budgets and skill levels so always take that in consideration! We’re all here to have fun and help each other out!

5. Forget to Have Fun!

I am ending this list with the same thing I began it with. Have fun! At the end of the day, we’re all people in costume just trying to have a good time and express our favorite fandoms. Don’t let any grumpy jellyfish get you down!

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From Left: Yuan, Lloyd, Raine, Kratos, and Marble from Tales of Symphonia. Cosplay is fun whether you’re alone or in a group like these guys! (Taken at Anime Central 2015)

Hope to see you all at the Mini-Comic Con! Who do you want to dress up as? Recognize any of the cosplayers I took photos of? Tell us in the comments below!
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Ashe

Superhero VS. Villain Showdown—Week 4

The third round of voting in the Superhero VS. Villain Showdown is complete. Week 4 voting will run Monday, July 6 – Sunday, July 12.  Votes will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Regal 12 movie theater gift card! One vote per person, per week.

Thor crushed Captain America while Wolverine knocked out The Flash! The Green Goblin and Loki both came up short in votes which means Doomsday and Ultron will battle it out in this week.

Here are the match-ups for Round 4.

Superheroes

Thor vs. Wolverine

Villains

Doomsday vs. Ultron

 Who will advance to the finals? Cast your votes online or in the Vortex!

Cross-stitch and What is it?

Hey guys! Remember that Needles & a Movie is still a thing! The next meeting is July 24th at 3 P.M. Don’t want to knit or crochet? Try Cross-stitch! It’s a great way to create pieces (as big or small as you like) for yourself, friends, or family.

How do you get started? I’ll be blunt with you, I have never done cross stitch in my life. So this blog post will be an adventure for both of us!

Simply put, cross stitch is a stitch that crosses, specifically in an X shape (hence the cross in cross-stitch).

Less simply put “It starts with a simple X shaped stitch that is commonly embroidered with floss on an evenweave fabric.  The cross stitch is repeated numerous times to create a design.  Counted cross stitch designs are made by following a grid or chart where each square that contains a symbol represents 1 stitch.” (DMC-USA)

Cross stitch vulpix pokemon cross stitch tumblr

With Cross-stitch, you can create anything like pokemoncross-stitch.tumblr’s adorable Vulpix!

DMC-USA has lots of information for beginning cross-stitchers! I’ve looked at several different cross stitching sites and they seem to be the best organized.

Some video tutorials:

  • Preparation! This will go over the materials you need and how to get started.
  • Stitching! This goes over how to actually begin the actual cross stitching stitch.

Patterns:

If you’d like to make your own pattern from a file on your computer, click here. Just upload the picture you want, and the website does the rest of the work! It’s one of my favorite pattern websites (I like to use it for perler bead designs specifically since I do not cross stitch) because not only does it convert the image into a pattern but gives you several variations of how many colors you want in said pattern. It can be as simple or complex as you desire!

There is also this site, but it gives you less options. Make sure you leave it selected at the 1:1 ratio for cross-stitch.

And don’t forget! The library has plenty of books on cross-stitch on the third floor. Check one out today!

If anyone has advice they’d like to share for beginner cross-stitchers, comment below!
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Ashe