Friday, April 27, 2012

Site Makeover + Song Cover + Random Things :)

This post ain't much, but I'm gonna be sharing a couple of things.

First: a site makeover. Haha. I was feeling a bit frilly and girly the other day, that when I viewed my blog (which is formerly enveloped in so much black) I felt that it was extremely depressing. LOL. So I decided to tweak things a little  - and so I ended up with this:

Jaraan! Hehe. I decided to go back to my old template, courtesy of Gisele Jaquenod. You could check out her blog too, she's offering a bunch of free cute blogger templates featuring Birdie. :)) It's a bit too cutesy for my content, but what the hell... haha, I love putting in content with this kind of themes. The site's not complete yet, there are a couple of gadgets that I haven't been able to put up, but this serves fine. Hehe, I especially love the banner. Too cute, I think that should do it. It actually lokked a bit more homely to me now that I think about it. >.< (This blog has been changing it's template for 3 times or so this year, >.<)

Second: the song cover. This must be strange coming from me but I just recorded a cover of Krissy and Ericka's 12:51. With the crappy background, and the silly voice, plus my barely-learned guitar playing skills, hehe, making this entertained my otherwise boring secluded-inside-the-house life these past few days. I present to you, my first ever video cover (in which I suck sooo bad), haha. XD

Y u so haggard in the vid? >.<

12:51 wasn't the prettiest song to cover.. but what can I do.. haha, the chords were simple, and my voice is a joke - so gotta live on to it. Not pretty thought at, I know. I even have a small slip with the lyrics by the end. LOL. (I am still thinking whether to post it in my Tumblr or not. So many would see if I do that... >.<)

Third: some photos we took while bored. We just accompanied my brother because he took his college entrance exam, and we brought our camera so we struck a pose. Talk about killing time.

[photo spam alert!]

Nothing special eh. Hehe. Just wanna share some of the few pictures I have this summer. Plus my father, too. A few days from now, he would go off to Saudi again. We'll surely miss him for another year. Better freeze the moment. It's too hot these past few days, it's hard to face the camera without looking haggard as hell. XD

Few random things, in bullets:
  • I finally finished "A Clash of Kings"! Yey! 2nd book crossed out, now I'm heading to the 3rd. My Song of Ice and Fire Reading Challenge is going on smoothly. Will be posting my review in the next days to come. :))
  • My supposedly-planned Baguio trip would be cancelled, I'm afraid. I'm cutting back with expenses, so there's no helping it though I am pretty much bored in being inside the house all the time - along with this heat, But seven hells, I would definitely reschedule. Maybe next year or so. :|
  • I got my grades from last semester. And they were a bit disappointing, though I just barely missed my target. I'm still thinking if I'm doing a full-length post about it 'coz it's a bit depressing for me to talk about. We'll see.
  • See how boring my life is? I gotta laugh at that. I know - all I do is talk about feelings, fictional characters, books, and everything made up in my head. I seriously think I'm missing the whole living-in-action thing. LOL.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

" Love is his rebellion, and without that he’s nothing. "

Reading into the Hunger Games trilogy, we got to see only one point of view, and that is of Katniss. But ever wonder what it would be like to view the capitol, the arena, the games, and the whole of Panem in any other character's eyes? Say Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, or any other tributes in the games, or in the Quarter Quell even? That would be so exciting, right? That's why I'm going to share this. I was scrolling through the Tumblr THG fandom, when I came across this very interesting fan-made Johanna POV - one of the tributes in the 3rd Quarter Quell who once won a Hunger Game herself.

The Capitol from Johanna’s POV.
You’ll get nothing from us, you bastards! I’m sick of the sound of my own voice, but the silence is deafening; Peeta’s quietened down in the cell next to me. I wish he’d shout; I wish he’d scream for Katniss like he used to when we first got here. Now there’s just nothing. I hear him gasp in the middle of the night like he’s breaking the surface of the ocean. Maybe he’s dreaming about the arena. I hope he knows that we got her out; I hope he uses that and holds onto it and gives them hell when they take him into that white room at the end of the corridor. Love is his rebellion, and without that he’s nothing. (via mellarkia)

From the looks of it, I think this is from when she and Peeta were taken captive by the Capitol after the arena was destroyed by the other co-tributes (Catching Fire). It so awesome, I immediately reblogged the photoset. Gotta love the last line. Give it to Johanna, being a true-blue rebel. Some times, I'm amazed how fandoms gives so much inspiration for its members to be making such quality works. >.<

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tyrion Lannister is the man! (A Clash of Kings rant)

I'm almost through with A Clash of Kings and I was into reading Tyrion's POV in the last remaining chapters of the book and then I cam across this:
Her blood still marked him as he looked down at the queen. “I have never like you, Cersei, but you were my own sister, so I never did you harm. You’ve ended that. I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.”
In war, his father had told him once, the battle is over in the instant one army breaks and flees. No matter that they’re as numerous as they were a moment before, still armed and armored; once they had run before you they would not turn to fight you again. So it was with Cersei. “Get out!” was all the answer she could summon. “Get out of my sight!”
Tyrion bowed. “Good night, then. And pleasant dreams.”

~ Tyrion Lannister (POV), A Clash of Kings (George R.R. Martin)
Talk about bad-ass. The excitement in the book was really building up. But man do I loved him in here! I've always dreamed of Tyrion making Cersei feel helpless, or dream of a time when he finally stood up and tell that in her face -- outright! Most of you would not really relate to me... but what the heck! I am growing to be an absolute hardcore fan one page at a time. This man is really dope giving Cersei a taste of her own medicine. I already had my eyes at him for his POV is one that I enjoyed the most, even before this. I just loved his conviction in this line, especially with that "I will hurt you for this." part. Halfman, all the way! <3

I already heard Peter Dinklage (the one who plays him in the HBO TV series) mouthing this line in the teasers that I've watched, and was pretty interested on why he would say this and to whom, and my expectations never failed me. Okay, I can't stop fangirling. >.< Brilliant George R.R. Martin, though he's ripping my heart out with the way he's treating his characters and the direction this whole story is going. This is one cruel man, but he keeps me wanting for more. Kyaaah! Can't wait to finish it. I'll probably be turning the last page tomorrow, or later before I go to sleep. :))

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Four days have passed, and I'm gonna be writing a new Murakami review again. Yep, I'm going over and over about how I'm still stuck in it... but now, it's over. I'm finally FINISHED with Norwegian Wood. :))

I remembered how an online friend of mine kept going over and over this novel, and it sparked my curiosity. I started reading his works, they intrigued me, they crept me out, they wierded me -- but the bottom line is: I LIKED IT. And before I knew it, I became a Murakami convert, making him one of my most favorite authors. Having read two of his published books, one a novel (Sputnik Sweetheart) and one a collection of short stories (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman), Murakami never failed to capture me. Reading his works has become like a drug -- after reading so much, instead of becoming tired of it, I felt like I wanted more. And so, I bought a third HM book.

Before I bought this book, I've heard so many things about it. Publishing this book in Japan made Murakami somewhat a 'literary superstar' in his country. Out of all his works, i think this is the first and 'only' normal novel he has written. Normal in a good kind of way. If you've read at least one or two of his works (novel ora short story), surrealism is a distinct theme in all of them. So I was sooo excited to see a different side of his writing.

This stunning and elegiac novel propelled Haruki Murakami into the forefront of the literary scenes (and onto the Japanese bestseller lists) and showed that the master genre bender could tug at our heartstrings as effectively as the Beatles' song "Norwegian Wood."Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual obsession is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.
A magnificent blending of the music, the mood, and the ethos that was the sixties with the story of one college student's romantic coming of age, Norwegian Wood brilliantly recaptures a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love. (via Goodreads)
Norwegian Wood is a novel that centered in death and the feeling of loss related to it. It follows Toru Watanabe's stuggle to go on in life as his past kept holding him back. Ever since the sudden death of his bestfriend, Kizuki, he has been haunted by the incident.. even prompting him to move out of town, and continue studying where no one really knows him and what happened in his early years. However, when he met Kizuki's long time girlfriend, Naoko, everything changed. He and Naoko share this distinct connection, being left alone hanging by the most important person in their lives. They began to see each other more often, until the incident that happened on Naoko's 20th birthday. Naoko was admitted in an hospital in the mountains, leaving Toru on his own. In the days that he seeks human companionship, he found himself drawn to Midori. The book  chronicles the struggle Toru has in figuring out his feelings for the two ladies, as well as figuring out himself.

"Death  is not the opposite of life but an innate part of life." ~ Haruki Murakami // Source

I must admit, the overall tone of the novel has been too depressing for me. Though I like myself an emotional read, reading it became unbearable at times especially when I need some motivation to go on with my studies. >.< Hehe. The fact that I can really relate and how I am too similar to the characters that took their own lives or committed suicide was becoming too creepy I'm almost fearing for myself. LOL. But joking aside, suicide is very rampant in the whole novel.  So if you can't really tolerate such negative emotions all at once, this book is not for you.

The characters in the book was another thing. Besides Toru, the book has a lot of interesting characters that I've grown to love. Naoko, which forms one third of the triangle that the book focused on was a timid, shy woman who was clammed up in innocence as she struggles to free herself in her past and everything that's holding her back. Same with Toru, but in a more serious way. And then there's Midori. I love her. In a story where negativity is all over the place, having a character like her is a breath of fresh air. For me, she provides the balance in the whole story. She's  liberated,  refreshing. She's like a sunshine in an otherwise gloomy day. But one of the characters's I've enjoyed reading in this book is Toru's friend, Nagasawa. He had this unique way to deal with the world. I love his ideals, and some times, I agree with him. I enjoy how his mind works, and how he tends to make living less complicated. And there's also Reiko, Naoko's roommate in the 'asylum'. Her story was something really tragic, and one that really stuck with me.

"My arm was not the one she needed, but the arm of someone else. My warmth was not what she needed, but the warmth of someone else. I felt almost guilty being me." ~ Toru Watanabe

It topped Sputnik Sweetheart on my list, for i think that this is the most emotional writing from Haruki Murakami that I've ever read. The way Toru weighs in between life and death. How he lives in the past, never seeming to escape it but wanting to. How the words were weaved, and sentences formed, and I cried. The melancholic recollections were almost too raw. The way he came to terms with what he is feeling, letting go of all the guilt that has bundled up inside him. Though what he did in the ending somewhat irks me off, but I guess you can't help it coz the situation asks for it.

Midori appealed to me too, the way she's written. I love her letter to Toru, especially the line: "You're all locked up in that little world of yours, and when I try knocking on the door,you just sort of look up for a second and go right back inside."

(Taken with instagram)
Additional Thoughts:

  • Though the ending was a little bit vague, and I was a bit thrown off, I'd like to think that it was some kind of a liberation. Though it left me questioning... I think that when Midori asked him where he was and he suddenly found himself unable to answer as if alienated out of the blue -- that represents that after all those years since the death of Kizuki, he was finally able to get away. Makes me feel that he just dragged himself to live all his life, without him realizing that he has been left out by the times. That when he looked up, he had no idea at all where he was because he wasn't able to see things as they are for the past years since his bestfriend died. Thus, when he is freed, and when he chose to start living in the present and leave his past, it felt kinda strange.It's just that its somehow contradicts with the opening of the book where he supposedly been brought back by the emptiness he felt (guilt?) when he heard "Norwegian Wood" playing, Naoko's supposed favorite song -- implying that he still can't get away from Naoko's memories.
  • Naoko wanting Toru to never forget her, for me, was selfish. Not that I blame her, because it would be really nice if someone always remembers you. But she should be more considerate of Toru's feeling. Just look what never forgetting Kizuki has done to him. I don't know...
  • I especially loved Toru when he said this: "Hey, there, Kizuki, I thought. Unlike you. I've chosen to live -- and to live the best I know how. Sure, it was hard for you. What the hell, it's hard for me. Really hard. And all because you killed yourself and left Naoko behind. But that's something I would never do. i will never, ever turn my back on her. First of all. because I love her, and because I'm stronger than she is. And I'm just going to keep in getting stronger. I'm going to mature. I'm going to be an adult.Because that's what I have to do. I always used to think I'd like to stay seventeen or eighteen if I could. But not anymore. I'm not a teenager anymore. I've got a sense of responsibility now. I'm not the same guy I was when we used to hang  out together. I'm twenty now. And I have to pay the price to go on living." To understand the amount of responsibility he is assuming when he took Naoko, and never running away from it. You go, man! That was something. I am twenty, and I don't think I can think like that (at least, not for now.. hehe).

This book cover is just breathtaking. I have the paperback edition featured at the top, though. // Source
Over all, this book was so moving. The imagery was so vivid, sometimes I feel like I am trapped in its world.  I'd like to think I am. A poignant story about life and love, I recommend it to all who wants to experience one precious emotional ride.

Fast Facts:

  • The title was based from the song "Norwegian Wood" by the fab four, The Beatles. It was heavily featured during the whole story, because it was Naoko's favorite song. I am currently practicing it in the guitar. Hehe.>.<
  • The whole book is somewhat an extension of Murakami's short story, Firefly. The first section of the novel was mainly adapted from the story. Firefly can be found in the Murakami's short story collection, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.
  • Toru's recollection of when he and Kizuki visited Naoko in the hospital was told at more length in the short story Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.
Quotable Quotes:
"No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth,no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it,but what we learn willbe no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning." ~ Toru Watanabe

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bookwormism Update

Time constraints. One of my major problems in satisfying my need for books. Though it pains me to ignore the things I love to give way to the things I need to do, it's a process I need to do in order to have an orderly life. Besides, I just can't leave my accounting books behind and pick up, say, a non-academic-related book and then go to class without knowing anything because I stayed up all night reading and dreaming tales that transport me to another world. That won't be a very good excuse. I can't just do that, or else, I'll be through.


Due to my belief that it would be unnecessary for me to target a certain number of books and pressure myself while I let go of other needed chores (my planning skills are really poor), I think I would HAVE to cutback. I initially signed up for a pledge to read 25 books during 2012. Though that number was not really high enough for someone who loves to read books, I think that was fair enough if I consider tons of reading material assigned to us every week. But sadly, I think I won't be able to make it, given my current phase and how long my recent readings are. (Game of Thrones, ehem). Additionally, a month or so from now, I would soon be starting my last year in college so I honestly think that I should get it together and have a more serious approach to my studies than ever. I shouldn't be wasting time, even if it for the things that I love. But since reading only my school books would prove to be soooo stressful, I can't really erase the habit of picking up a book when my mind is strained from the daily strain school has been giving me.

So, from 25 books, I would go with 15 books this year. Yep, 10-book difference. This would fluctuate, maybe adding more, or further cutting back... depending on how everything would fare up when the semester commences. As much as it pains me, I can't really do anything because I don't want to push myself to my limits. I am a very slow reader if you would notice.

On a brighter note:

Even though I cut back on the necessary books I need to read this year, there's no denying that some of my love is still in utter glow. I'm currently addicted to George R.R. Martin's epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire. I already finished "A Game of Thrones", which is the Book 1 of the series, and is now currently engrossed in it's Book 2, A Clash of Kings (almost finished). I've been reading it in e-book because I cannot really afford full-printed copies due to shortage in allowance because it is currently summer vacation. Haha. >.< But then, because of how hooked I am in the story line, I don't think I will be going anywhere than being excited to finish the series this year.

I was reading through blogs when I found The Lit Bitch, and I noticed that she is hosting a Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Series) Reading Challenge 2012 and I decided to join in. Besides, I'm already reading it, it won't be bad to try to finish it. A few more motivation would do. If you want to try it out, just click HERE. This would direct you to the directions regarding the challenge, and you could sign up in the list provided there. Also, don't forget to paste the badge as proof (the image you can see in my sidebar under the title 'Reading Challenges') that you're participating. :))

Song of Ice and Fire, for the win! >.<

As it turns out, I've already finished a third of the said challenge and is looking forward to finishing up the remaining two-thirds in the next couple of months. I'm almost finished with Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood (though it proves to be a drag), and is now beginning to get to the climax of George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings.

Review: Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

I finished Sputnik Sweetheart for a while now, so this review may seem a bit overdue... so please bear me with as I try to recall what I have to say about this Murakami book. *keke* >.<

After Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman fueled my interest on Murakami, I immediately bought the first HM I could get a hold of . And this turned out to be Sputnik Sweetheart.

Haruki Murakami, the internationally bestselling author of "Norwegian Wood" and "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," plunges us into an urbane Japan of jazz bars, coffee shops, Jack Kerouac, and the Beatles to tell this story of a tangled triangle of uniquely unrequited loves. A college student, identified only as "K," falls in love with his classmate, Sumire. But devotion to an untidy writerly life precludes her from any personal commitments-until she meets Miu, an older and much more sophisticated businesswoman. When Sumire disappears from an island off the coast of Greece, "K" is solicited to join the search party and finds himself drawn back into her world and beset by ominous, haunting visions. A love story combined with a detective story, Sputnik Sweetheart ultimately lingers in the mind as a profound meditation on human longing. (via Goodreads)

Sputnik Sweetheart, to me, was a very emotional book. And since I've been an avid fan of gut-wrenching, butterfly-in-the-stomach-sending, and heart-throbbing books that put me in an emotional mess, naturally, I would be a fan of this one. I am a lover of books that explore the details of a hurting heart, and specifically describe the pain the characters were suffering from. Some would say that loving something with such intensity of negative emotions (hurt, pain, etc.) prove to be a little pessimistic/sadistic/sentimental or whatever, but I am a firm believer that it is when we experience these kinds of emotions that we bring out the rawness of our self - that part which let us feel more than ever. Books that convey these kinds of emotions tend to affect me more than the others and I love books that I feel very connected to. And this one? This book has all the connections I can muster.

This conveys the suffering of an unrequited love (loves, that is). The pain of being there - just there, for another. Knowing how much you love her/him while knowing full well that that love cannot be reciprocated, but still choosing to linger and support the other. Those were the times when this novel caught me. The way K, the male protagonist, conveyed his emotions in such simple yet meaningful words. I always read with my high lighters within reach, marking every passage I like (that's the beauty when you own the book you're reading, you're free to do anything to it like highlighting, writing in it's margins, underlining, etc.), and before I knew it, the book was yellow all over. I like Murakami's way of writing: how he put the punctuation in all the right places, how he uses these strange descriptions to convey what he wanted to say, and even how he capitalizes some of his statements. It's too perfect. Haha (ooops, fangirl talking). This book is swelling with quotable quotes that depict the rawness of human emotions.

One of the quotes that I love in this book, I even made a post about it. 

As to the characters, K is lined up to what I believe is the trademark Murakami protagonist: a music lover, and a book lover. He writes beautifully, and is able to describe what he's feeling in an excruciating manner that sometimes, I find my tears building up. And then there was Sumire. First off, I LOVE HER NAME. Well, basically, Sumire means 'violet' in Japanese. She's an aspiring writer, and obviously, she loves to read. She found this best friend figure with K, but then, without her knowing, K started to fall into her enigma. The problem is: Sumire,  who is not really sure with her sexual orientation, seemed to fall deeply in love with a woman named Miu who had a very curious past and whose hair have turned all white for some weird reason that you would discover if you read the book. K was Sumire's confidante, and so, he is torn with listening and understanding Sumire's emotions for Miu even though he himself have one for her. Thus, making the whole unrequited love thing more unbearable for him.

Reading Murakami has given me 3 impressions: emotional, vintage, and surreal. With a set of curious, and almost strange characters.... Murakami made the, what I think, one of his most emotionally vulnerable creations. And with the presence of vinyl records, bookstore, and jazzy cafes, one cannot really deny the almost too classic and dated setting of the book - which, I love by the way. But despite all of this, he still didn't lose the surreal element about his writing, on which he is widely known. Murakami's courage in taking on strange elements in his books, while taking the readers with him is one of the things I love about this man.  The back story of Miu, and what really happened to Sumire when she disappeared still posed question in my mind. The books gave an account of what happened with the said story, but they're not-so-satisfying as it made me still want further explanations. Somewhere behind those well spun words, is the question of whether they are just metaphorical representation of something -- of a better, solid narrative. Weeks and months after I first finished reading it, the riddle of whether these words mean something more is still lurched in my brain. It left me thinking. Until now, I didn't have an answer I'll be satisfied with so I guess this book won't leave me alone for a while.

I would go as far as say that Sputnik Sweetheart is hauntingly good (to my preference). I love Murakami's distinct element dancing in the thin border between reality and fantasy, and how he works out the premise of every single book he writes. Every ending of each chapter is gripping, that made it just a breeze to finish reading it. Though the ending was a little vague, this book still shoot straight to my 'Favorites' shelf. After two Murakami books, I don't think I'll be able to leave out his remaining books soon. I am now reading Norwegian Wood (which is taking more than its allotted time because of some reasons I can't quite point out), and I shall be posting a review of it in the next couple of days.

I want this cover! It's absolutely gorgeous! // Source

Fast Fact: Sputnik Sweetheart contains the story of "The Man-Eating Cats" that has been previously featured in "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" collection of short stories.

Quotable Quote:
"In dreams  you don't need to make any distinction between things. Not at all. Boundaries don't exist. So in dreams there are hardly ever collisions. Even if there are, they don't hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites." ~ Sumire, Document 1

Friday, April 6, 2012

Anime: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)

Remember how I kept going on and on about the animes I've watched lately instead of the books I've read so far? Well, this post won't be different so please bear with me. :3 I just want to share a very wonderful show that has touched me deeply when I saw it. It's called "Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai" litt. "We Still Don't Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day". Yep, I know... the title's much too long to memorize so they (I don't know who) figured out a way to somehow shorten it - AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day. It was an 11-episode Japanese Anime series that was aired last 2011, and is directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai.

This is not a review, for I know that by the time I stopped typing and publish this post, this would just contain the feelings I had while watching the whole series, and still have after weeks of finishing it. So without further ado, here goes:

Without going all plot-wise, or story-wise, or even emotional-wise (or whatever), I just want to point out one thing I think about the title. The first time I saw it in the translated cap of the first episode, I thought it was some kind of a lyric of a song, but then I realized it was the translated title of the series. And you know what, this might sound weird, but the moment I read that line, I felt really nostalgic for reasons I don't quite understand. "We still don't know the name of the flower we saw that day."  - for some strange reason I can't specifically point out, this alone implies the whole tone of the story. Something trivial, but in the point of view of a child, it was something significant. It's like some little memory seeping into your consciousness that was part blissful and part painful to remember. The moment I read it, I know that it would be an emotional ride - and I'm not wrong. It really is.

The main characters of the series: (L to R)
Poppo, Anaru, Menma, Jintan, Tsuruko, Yukiatsu
A group of six childhood friends drift apart after one of them, Meiko "Menma" Honma, dies in an accident. Ten years after the incident, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, has withdrawn from society and lives as a recluse. One summer day, the ghost of an older looking Menma appears before him and asks to have a wish granted, reasoning that she cannot pass on into the afterlife until it is fulfilled. Since Menma does not remember what her wish is, Jinta gathers his estranged friends together once again, believing that they are the key to resolving this problem. However, hidden feelings, internal conflicts, and lingering feelings of bitterness from Menma's parents result in complications for the group as they struggle to help not only Menma move on, but themselves as well. (Wikipedia)
The death of the their friend led them to lives so far from each other, but when the spirit of Menma suddenly appeared in Jintan's house... everything came back. As they struggled to help Menma fulfill her final wish, the feelings that are long been sealed away became clearer and each step became harder because of the bitterness that the death of Menma left them and are still lingering even after all those years.

This really has an excellent plot. From the execution, to the delivery. Everything was perfect. From the start of the last episode, until the very end. I was literally bawling my eyes out. I don't know what's with me, but it seem to affect me. Not that I have the same experience as these 6, but something in the story feels a little nostalgic, and the sadness that is lingering from every angle of the series was unmistakably painful. The lingering feelings left by their friends death, the whole time they have to carry it in their hearts, by themselves alone...and how each of them tried to cope with everything - that was kinda sad. I mean, I've been crying in the wrong places, even when everyone was smiling, just because some strange feeling of sadness crept over me. This was a roller coaster ride of emotion for me, but in the end, though it was really emotional and depressing, the sense of fulfillment, and the warmth of the friendship shared by the 6 lead characters was something so precious I'll re-watch it even though I'll cry over and over. (I even put that last episode in my phone for me to watch whenever I feel like it)

It goes to show that even though many years have passed, the bond shared by people, even though long forgotten, cannot really disappear no matter what we do. That no matter how hard we forget, there are certain times in life that we have no choice but to remember. And most of the time, it would be something good.

Their friendship was something special that I wanted to keep though I was just an observer waiting as the story of their lives unfold in this series. The anime was short-lived (spanning only 11 episode), but the impression it made on me was definitely priceless.This was a truly memorable anime, without all the antics, and without trying too hard. It conveyed human emotions in a way that was sad, yet warm to remember. That last scene in the woods with everybody, exactly when the ending theme started playing, I was literally crying. Whenever I think of the ending, though it nearly put me to tears, it always makes me smile. This was definitely one of the most sad, yet tender story I've ever encountered (including what I've read in books). :))

This is a special song for me. I loved it in the anime. And how it played in all the perfect places. This is "Secret Base (10 years after)" performed by Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, and Saori Hayami. This served as the ending theme for the whole series.


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