Armchair BEA Day 1 – Intro & Best Practices in the Online Book Community

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Hi there peeps! I totally forgot to set up my first post earlier for Armchair Book Expo! If you don’t know what this is, I participated in 2015 and last year and had a lot of fun, but basically it’s for those of us who are unable to attend the convention Book Expo America, but who still want to participate in talking about all things books with the community.

First up, the introductions!

  1. I am . . . Rayna!
  2. Currently . . . Answering these prompts and writing this post late! 😀
  3. I love . . . anime and manga, drawing, my husband, Christ, my friends, Kakakshi Hatake, 707, learning, and other things. Oh, and of course, books.
  4. My favorite . . . book? Uh, well, that’s very hard to choose, so I’ll say my favorite genre is fantasy and sci-fi! Okay, that’s two answers, but still…
  5. My least favorite . . . April Morning. So boring. I’m not into classics as much as I want to be.
  6. My current read . . . A Court of Wings and Ruin (and a huge list of manga that just keeps growing…)
  7. My summer plans . . . My husband and I are going to Disney World the last week of August! 😀 Otherwise, just working, hanging with friends, my birthday. That’s it.
  8. My buddy . . . my hubby!
  9. My blog/channel/social media . . . Well, if you’re reading this you’re on my blog, so…. But here’s my Instagram, Twitter, tumblr, and YouTube channel.
  10. The best . . . thing ever is being happy doing what you’re passionate about.

Alright, now that you know me a little better, let’s move onto the SERIOUS TOPIC.

Best Practices in the Online Book Community

So when I think of this topic, I think about many things. The prompt ranges from time management to social media exposure to ethical obligations and beyond. I think what I want to focus on is posting the content that you want to read.

When it comes to the online book community, there are many factors that go into being a book blogger: consistency, reading books (duh), reviewing, replying to comments, etc. And I think through a lot of that we can get lost and forget why we started to blog and why we wanted to talk about the books that we love.

Writing about the topics that you’re passionate about when it comes to discussions rather than joining the hype train (though there’s nothing wrong with that) can make the difference between a discussion that has a lot of potential and a lot of back and forth constructive commentary, to discussion that falls flat and doesn’t get any feedback on. It’s important to remember to state your own opinions without getting too full of yourself or of hurting others in the process.

It’s a delicate balance, but when you write about the things that you actually want to talk about, whether it be book tags or hauls or reviews or whatever, by you talking about it because you actually want to talk about it will not only have an effect on the way you write your post, but on your readership as well.

Your readers will understand you more and get to know you more, and they’ll also know that you’re being a lot more genuine in your posts than just by going along with the mold.

Talk about the things you want and don’t be afraid to do so. It’s your blog, your space, and you’re allowed to talk about whatever is really on your mind and heart. (Of course, if you have other obligations that you promised to do, you better make sure you do those, too.)

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you participating in Armchair BEA? What are some of the best book community practices you’ve picked up over time? Tell me all the things!

Anime Rewind #1

Hey peeps! So today I wanted to introduce something new: Anime Rewind! This is a new feature where I’m going to talk about the anime I’ve been watching lately, my thoughts, how many episodes I’ve watched, and more. I’ll be doing this feature monthly, so let’s get into it!

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Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

The life of the shinobi is beginning to change. Boruto Uzumaki, son of Seventh Hokage Naruto Uzumaki, has enrolled in the Ninja Academy to learn the ways of the ninja. Now, as a series of mysterious events unfolds, Boruto’s story is about to begin!

Episodes Watched: 1-5, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: I know I already talked briefly about the first episode of Boruto, but let me tell you: I’m loving the show so far! It has a very sort of nostalgic feel to it, but the animation is a lot smoother and brighter, the story is progressing in a way that we’re getting to learn not just about Boruto, but the other characters that surround him, and there are so many questions and mysteries that have yet to be explained so I’m very excited to see where the rest of the series goes from here.

Episodes 2-5 have much the same thing of some mysterious purple shadow that takes over someone and causes them to act not as themselves; in fact, it causes them to act violently towards others. Boruto is able to see this shadow with his eye (similar to his mother’s Byakugan) but he doesn’t know how he’s able to do it. In some cases it’s in his friends and in others it’s in other people. I have many questions as to what this foreign matter is because episode four showed how strong Boruto is and how he was able to summon a very large purple glowing monkey monster thing from another dimension – though no one seemed to see it at all.

There’s lot of hilarity at times, especially between the boys and girls, and I love the slow incorporation of the old characters that we all know and love. I have high hopes for this series and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Rating So Far: 4/5 stars

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Tsukigakirei

It’s the third year of middle school. Kotaro, a bookish boy aspiring to become a novelist, and Akane, a track girl who loves to run, meet in the same class together for the first time. They’re put in charge of the equipment for the sports festival, and slowly grow closer via LINE. How does Kotaro deal with his growing feelings for her? Meanwhile, Takumi has been in love with Akane since first year, and Akane’s friend, Chinatsu, becomes interested in Kotaro. A refreshing story of young love set in Kawagoe.

Episodes Watched: 1-5, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: MY PRECIOUS BABIES OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS ANIME. No, but seriously, this is a super sweet anime about young love and finding connection and it’s just so cute. The first five episodes are about that feeling of a crush developing and the difficulties that can potentially come along with it, especially when those two characters are shy. *squeeing in the distance* It’s just so cute and it brings me all of the happy feelings.

The animation style is also very lovely and it integrates two kinds of styles: traditional anime style and video game style. I mean, I’m sure there are actual terms for this, but that’s what I could tell from watching it. It’s unique in that sense and I really think that it makes the anime stand out in that way.

As for the story, we have the shy guy who just wants to write a successful novel, and the shy girl who’s on the track team and the fastest female runner. There’s friendships in there, too, that we see, but it primarily focuses on the developing romantic feelings between the two main characters. And of course drama just got introduced in this last episodes AND I JUST WANT MY BABIES TO BE HAPPY, OKAY!?

Rating So Far: 5/5 stars

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The Royal Tutor

The “Royal Tutor” is a special tutor carefully selected for the task of teaching the prince, and a title given only to the best teacher in the nation. Heine Wittgenstein has been called to the kingdom of Grannzreich to take on the role of the Royal Tutor. He’s been ordered to raise a worthy candidate for the throne, but he’s greeted with four princes of completely different, unique personalities… all brothers, no less! How will Heine handle these four brothers who were too much for all the previous Royal Tutors, prompting them all to run away from the job?

Episodes Watched: 1-5, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: I. Love. This. Anime. Holy carp. Okay, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first went into this. I’m like, “Okay, it has a bunch of pretty boys in it… but what about the story?” I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED, FRIENDS. This show plays so much on stereotypes, which makes it hilarious, but it also is about this mysterious tutor, Heine, who is trying his best to teach these four princes about several subjects and about real life so that they may take the throne one day.

First off, the animation? Glorious. I love how they use chibi versions of Heine in some scenes because omg too funny. Here, a few examples:

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What’s hilarious about this is that Heine is actually very short in comparison to the princes, but I believe he’s actually older than them, so it’s kind of this huge joke in the anime itself (hence him getting carried off by doves and being carried like a small dog by Prince Leonhard).

And then each of the princes have very distinct personalities, and each of them are kind of taken to extremes (because let’s be real, this whole anime is one big joke). The second eldest prince, Kai (we don’t know the eldest yet), is very stoic and calm and has a very mean glare (but really he’s the most precious bean of ever and I love him to death ahhhhh), Bruno, who is very studious and smart and thinks his intellect is superior to everyone else’s, Leonhard, who hates studying but is really good at athletics and loves cake, and then Lict, the youngest prince and the playboy, but who also has a very keen side to him.

Overall, this anime is glorious and gives me life, and if you watch anything off of this list DEFINITELY WATCH THIS ONE.

Rating So Far: 5/5 stars

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My Hero Academia

Izuku has dreamt of being a hero all his life—a lofty goal for anyone, but especially challenging for a kid with no superpowers. That’s right, in a world where eighty percent of the population has some kind of super-powered “quirk,” Izuku was unlucky enough to be born completely normal. But that’s not enough to stop him from enrolling in one of the world’s most prestigious hero academies.

Episodes Watched: 1, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: Okay, so my friends are really into this series and told me to watch it, but the way they explained it made it just sound weird and not my thing. WELL GUESS WHAT!? It is SO my thing because I’ve only just watched the first episode as of writing this post, and let me tell you: I love it. The animation style is very quirky and has a roughness to it that comes with shonen anime, but I think that just adds to the overall aesthetic of the show itself. Not only do we get to learn that 80% of the world’s population is some form of superhero, but our main character? Yeah, he’s not one, but he strives to be one!

I thought that learning a bit about why Izuku wants to become a superhero was SO touching and I almost cried, not gonna lie, but the rest of the episode was all kinds of hilarity and actiony and so good. I can’t give more thoughts just yet, but just wait for my next wrap up!

Rating So Far: 4/5 stars

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Blue Exorcist (season 2)

Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Normally, these two dimensions would never intersect, but having possessed all material substances, the demons are now intruding on the material world. But among the human race, there are those who can exorcise such demons – The Exorcists.

Episodes Watched: 1-12, completed season 2

Thoughts: I really enjoyed the first season when I watched it two years ago or so and this season didn’t disappoint either. It picks up fairly soon after where the first season left off and it takes the gang on a trip to Kyoto to guard – and later on fight – the Impure King. I love this animation style, and I feel that it really enhanced the story. As for the story itself, it showed development of the main characters Rin and his twin brother, Yukio, as well as other characters in the series and how their relationships with one another could be rebuilt with time.

I thought that this particular story arc was good, but I still have SO many questions regarding various things and that it didn’t hold the same kind of spark that the first season had, but my main question is: what is going to happen to Yukio? Because both Rin and Yukio are the sons of Satan, but only Rin has Satan’s blue flame power, Yukio showed signs that that power might be manifesting in him as well? And even a demon saw it in his eyes and now I’m 100000% intrigued in his story. I need to know!

I love this series and how it uses humor as well as its serious moments and I think that if you’re interested you should check out the first season for sure.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Kenka Banchou Otome – Girl Beats Boys-

Following the events of the game, the orphan heroine Hinako Nakayama suddenly reunites with her twin brother Hikaru who asks her to take his place at Shishiku Academy, a private boys school infamous for its rough-and-tumble student body. Hikaru being the child of a powerful Yakuza family, the Onigashima, he is obligated to become the leader of Shishiku Academy. Hinako will have to hide her identity and fight to control the school. How will Hinako deal with a school full of handsome boys who let their fists do the talking rather than talk about their feelings?

Episodes Watched: 1-4, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: My first thought is WHY are the episodes only eight minutes long!? This has SUCH potential to be such a good series, and I think that it’s doing a good job in the short span of time that it uses, but man, I wish these episodes were longer.

This anime was kind of a surprise to me because I was looking at the list of simulcasts for spring and this one popped up. I’m like, “ooh, an otome? Like the games I play? Sign me up.” (because I’m trash) and so I started watching this and now I’m hooked because I need to know if the guys ever find out her secret identity and if she ends up with one of them (I’m already shipping her with the blond guy) and omg I need more. She kicks butt and I’m like, YASSSS! But at the same time I want to know more about each character and I seriously wish this series had longer episodes. Argh.

Rating So Far: 3/5 stars

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March comes in like a lion

This is a gentle tale about people trying to regain something. And it is a tale of battle. The main character, Rei Kiriyama, lost his family in an accident when he was young. Now he is a 17-year-old pro shogi player who is burdened with deep loneliness. Rei lives alone in an old town in Tokyo, but after becoming acquainted with three sisters, Akari, Hinata and Momo, he begins to change little by little…

Episodes Watched: 1-4, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: This is a bittersweet story about a boy who lives alone but often spends time with a family of girls who care for him like their own sibling. I think that this story is very different and it’s really trying to dive into the depths of loneliness, depression, and sadness, but on the flip side it’s also trying to look at love, family, and happiness. It’s got a unique animation style that isn’t my favorite, but it works for this story. I think that I’ll have to watch more episodes to see how I really feel about it, but so far it’s interesting.

Rating So Far: 3/5 stars

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Brothers Conflict

As the only daughter of a famous adventurer, Hinata Ema has had a pretty lonely life. But when her father remarries, she leaves the newlyweds alone and moves in to a huge building with her 13 cute new stepbrothers—each of which has a very unique personality. Oh, and her over-protective, talking pet squirrel is there, too. Is love in the air for Hinata?

Episodes Watched: 1-4, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: This otome series is kind of ridiculous, but OMGILOVEIT. Okay, so I’m clearly a sucker for harems/reverse harems/otome stories because this series just gives me life. It’s so cheesy but it’s soooo good! It follows this girl as she becomes part of this very large family of 13 brothers, and how several of the brothers are falling for her, and just… I can’t. I’m already laughing typing this.

Anyway, from what I’ve watched so far, I ship her with the red head brother because she already knew him before the marriage and her moving in and everything, PLUS he likes her to begin with, but things happened and now she’s kissing another brother and I’m just like, “stahhhhpppp, go with my shiiiiip.” I also ship her with another one, but shh.

I think I need to watch more and figure out my feelings on this because it’s just hilarious and brings me much joy.

Rating So Far: 3/5 stars

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Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo lives in fear of creatures called Ghouls. When a young man becomes the first Ghoul-human hybrid, he must control his deadly hunger.

Episodes Watched: 1-2, ongoing

Thoughts So Far: As I’ve read the Tokyo Ghoul series up to volume 12, I know what’s going on and stuff, but I still wanted to watch the anime and wow, I knew it was violent and bloody, but damn. I’m enjoying it so far, though, and I think the pacing is going really well with the books, so that’s always a plus. The anime introduced ghouls, what they are, Ken, how he gets turned into one, and it’s all kind of very fast paced and it really takes you right into the story right away.

I’m interested to see how it handles the movements of the ghouls and everything, but so far what I’ve seen? Very smooth, very intense, and kind of sexual? Like… whoa. Anyway, this anime isn’t for the faint of heart, so if you’re interested in seeing it, just remember there’s a lot of blood and ripping of body parts.

But I still love it.

Rating So Far: 4/5 stars


Ahhhh, sorry this post was so long, but I’ve been watching a lot of anime lately, and I don’t think this is even everything I’ve been watching? Either way, let me know what your thoughts are if you’ve watched any of these and fangirl with me over ships and whatnot.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Do you watch anime? What have you watched lately that you would recommend to me? Let me know!

Anime Boston 2017

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Well, I went to my first anime convention in almost ten years. I went to Anime Boston back in 2008, I believe, and I haven’t been to convention since, but I went with my husband this year and let me tell you: it was a blast.

I didn’t really know what to expecting since it’s been about ten years since I’d been to Anime Boston and it was very different this time around, but in a good way.

Anime Boston took place from March 31-April 2 and we went on Friday and Sunday (but I wish we had stayed the whole weekend, which we’re going to do next time). There were SO many people there, but it was such a good time.

So my husband and I did, in fact, cosplay. I wanted to do a different cosplay on Sunday, but let’s be real: ain’t nobody got time for that. We did a couple’s cosplay as Naruto and Hinata from Naruto Shippuden.

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We actually had a decent amount of people come up asking to take our picture together and to also let us know that we were bringing their OTP dreams to life. xD It was so fun. One person even asked if we were a couple and I told her we were married and she was like, “OH MY GOD, IT CAME TRUE IN REAL LIFE!” I couldn’t help but laugh!

There were also so many awesome cosplays that we saw while we were there! I was so happy to be in a place with people of a like mind to me because let me tell you: the looks we got on the train? Yup, we were the “weirdos,” but it’s fine because we did see other cosplayers on the train and one even waved to me (she also smiled at me on the train home, which made me feel all kinds of happy).

When you go to an event like this, you really feel among comrades. You’re among thousands of people (seriously) who love anime just as much as you do (if not more) and who love Japanese culture and who love to cosplay and dress as characters and who are just having a great time with one another.

Here’s some of the cosplays we saw (in slideshow form!):

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Every one of them was so cool, although I’m sad because my phone decided to eat one of the photos I took of a cosplayer dressed as the Corpse Bride. Sad panda.

Of course there were way more cosplayers than just the ones I took, but I managed to scrounge up the courage to ask for pictures and everyone was so nice about it.

So let’s talk about the event itself: my husband and I went with one of his friends on Friday, but he just sat for over four hours waiting for the Dealer’s Room to open, so for that time my husband and I walked around taking in all of the sights – I even showed him the windows I remembered from when I was there all those years ago, hahaha! So for a few hours we just wandered and got some pictures taken before Artists’ Alley opened at 10AM.

Oh. My. God. I was in heaven when I went in there.

Like, seriously, that was a dangerous place to be in…. for my wallet. I bought SO many pictures, but in my defense, a lot of the artists were having sales of buy two get the third print free, sooooo… yeah… That happened.

I bought probably over 25 pieces of individual art. I have no self control. But it’s fine, I know for next time to bring all the money just for Artists’ Alley (and to control myself LOLOLOL like that’ll happen). My favorite piece I bought was a Tokyo Ghoul piece made by baimon and I just… *melt*

And then, when the Dealers’ Room was about to open, 15 minutes before I got to go in early because I’m a Crunchyroll Premium Member and I had the card for my badge, so that was exciting because once the crowd went in there? OMG I COULDN’T BREATHE. SO many people were in there! Ugh.

But I got a few things from there, including the 12th signature volume of Tokyo Ghoul which isn’t being released until April 18th, so YOU KNOW I JUMPED ON IT AS SOON AS I SAW IT. And when I asked if I could buy it, the guy was like, “No.” very seriously, but then my face fell and he laughed and said, “Of course.” I was like, “why would you do that to me!? ;-;” So I bought it and was very happy.

Here’s what I got:

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I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get at least one plushie. Let’s be honest, here. Also, it was a very Tokyo Ghoul weekend for me… I got four pictures of Ken Kaneki… FOUR. I’m slightly obsessed, it’s fine…. plus a keychain (also Touka) and a plush… It’s fine.

But overall, the experience was phenomenal. My husband had a great time, too, and definitely wants to go again next year. He said he wants to do a much more complicated cosplay next time, and I’m just like, “Okay, but you’re gonna make me do all the work…” Whatever, I’m excited and can’t wait to pick my next character to cosplay.

If you’ve never been to convention like Anime Boston, Comic Con, Katsucon, whatever, I highly suggest going. It’s so much fun and I definitely think you’ll enjoy yourself. We didn’t get to any panels that I wanted to go to, but next year I’m going to do my best to try and go to a few.

Let Chat! ^w^

Have you ever been to Anime Boston or any other convention? What was your favorite part? Have you ever cosplayed? Who did you cosplay and do you have any photos you’re willing to share? What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone going to their first con? Tell me all the things!

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #8: On the Road (Trip!)

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Well, it’s the last mini-challenge for the Love-a-thon and I’ve gotta say, I’m sad to see it come to a close. But it was so fun participating in this event again! I’ll have my wrap up post tomorrow, but for the last mini-challenge, it’s a road trip!

The objective is to bring along three to four people – characters, fellow bloggers/grammers/etc, or authors – along with you on a roadtrip. You pick the destination and then talk about what you’d do on this road trip, such as discussion topics, who’s driving, who’s in charge of the music, who made the lunches, etc. So here we go!

I’d take some of my fellow blogger friends along with me because I think it would be really fun to be on a road trip together! They are:

Okay, now that I’ve got my road trip buddies, where will we be going? Well, we’d have to get Cait over from the other side of the world, but once that’s settled, I think we’ll road trip to Walt Disney World! (Because if you don’t know me, Hi, I’m Rayna, and I love all things Disney.)

Destination: Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL

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Photo taken by me

Who would be driving? Honestly, I don’t trust anyone to drive, so I’d be the driver. I mean, I’m fine when other people are driving, I would just prefer to be the one in control.

Person in charge of music: Sarah because she always makes cool book trailers and I think she’d know just what we’d need to listen to at the right times.

Person in charge of lunches: Cait, because I know she’d also bring the cake so, duh. Obviously.

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Topics of Discussion: I’d leave Austine to come up with some fun topics and such, but I’m sure we’d talk about recent books we’ve read, why we’re excited to go to Disney, what we plan to do there, if we should make a few sight seeing pit stops along the way, our current favorite TV shows, and more. Lots of room for discussion and it would be super fun, too!

I think this would be a really fun road trip. Too bad none of us live near each other, but oh well, that’s what makes it fun! xD

And that’s it for the mini-challenges! Thanks for joining me these last two days and I’ll see you tomorrow with the wrap up!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you take with you on a road trip? Would you be able to relinquish control over anything, or do you have to be the one to decide? What kind of music would you listen to? What about lunches?

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #7: Let Me Sing You a Love Song

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Welcome to the second to last mini-challenge of this event! I’m having a lot of fun doing these challenges, as I hope you are, too, and I’m sad that there’s only two left. But for this challenge you bring in your musical talents and dedicate a love song (or two or three or ten) to your favorite characters and tell us why.

Okay, here are three of my favorite characters and the love songs I’d dedicate to them:

Aeduan from Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I would dedicate My Immortal by Evanescence to Aeduan. This is more of a tragic love song than a romantic one, but I think it really fits who he is as a character. Plus this song is just beautiful and I love it and him so it works.

Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I mean… do I really even need to explain this one? I’m pretty sure I’m one among many who would want to dedicate this song to Rhys, let’s be real.

Okay, those are the only characters I could come up with for love songs. I was seriously having a hard time and my mind decided to forget every long song I’ve ever heard. Oh well, at least I got two!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you dedicate a love song to? Would it be a sad song or a happy one?