My Favorite New Anime/ Shows 2021 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

This list was not hard to make. I’ve seen a lot of new anime this year (more than usual actually), but if I wasn’t completely invested I just didn’t finish them. Because I don’t have time to watch things that are uninteresting to me. A little tip though. These anime are not necessarily made in […]

My Favorite New Anime/ Shows 2021 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

What Have I Been Up To? November Books, Movies and more — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

Seems like only a few weeks ago I wrote about October. . . Sigh time flies by. I won’t have as many movies on this list because I’m currently doing a marathon of classic movies. But I have been reading a lot of books lately and other series so that will be fun to talk […]

What Have I Been Up To? November Books, Movies and more — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

Sorry I’ve been writing on my other blog a lot more lately. Anyhow, have fun reading my newest post on what I’ve been watching and reading.

Month of Classic Movies: Day 2, Faust (1926) 9/10 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man’s soul. IMBD Synopsis Maybe I’m a little biased, but I really enjoyed this movie! I studied German Expressionist filmmaking for my senior thesis in college and never got to see this classic film directed by F.W. Murnau. If you are curious about […]

Month of Classic Movies: Day 2, Faust (1926) 9/10 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

Thanks for reading my posts! Feel free to take a look at this article from my other blog!

Month of Classic Movies: Day 1, The 39 Steps 7/10 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

Image via Doctormacro.com A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information. Synopsis via IMBD Here’s how this scale works. I’ll […]

Month of Classic Movies: Day 1, The 39 Steps 7/10 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

I usually don’t do movie review on this website, but feel free to check out my other blog for upcoming movie reviews on Classic Films.

What Have I Been Up To?

My apologies for disappearing all of the sudden from the writing scene! I’ve had a lot of things going on lately but am here to report the wonderous doings of my mind and life! I haven’t been reading too many new books, but have still had time to revisit some old books/series I love and find a few new movies and shows I’ve added to my favorites.

For those interested, here are some things I’ve been getting involved with lately I think you’ll find interesting.

I Found a New Job

First and foremost, I’ve been missing mostly because I suddenly got a teaching job at a charter school The International School at Mesa Del Sol in Albuquerque, NM. Part of you are probably thinking, “Wait. . . I thought you hated teaching Aubrey?” The other half of you are probably wondering what I actually am teaching.

To answer the first question, yes, I hated teaching before I went on my mission. I love to study, write, and talk about things that interest me. I discovered, however, how heartbreaking it can be teaching these things to kids who belittled and attacked what I loved. So I decided I didn’t want to go through that again.

Recently, however, I’ve been really concerned with the direction education in the United States is going. I wondered what I could do in response and realized I had the education and talent to teach in public schools. Turns out I wasn’t using these two things as much as I should have.

Therefore, I found a great opportunity to get a teaching certificate and stretch myself as an individual mentally and intellectually. I am currently teaching Russian language and cultural studies. To middle schoolers. Mmm hmm. It’s been quite an adventure these past two months! This is partially because I had to build the program from nothing in only a few days.

What have I been reading?

Firstly, let’s talk about the plethora of Russian fairytales I’ve studied the past few weeks! Let me tell you, they don’t disappoint. Before I started teaching my class, I vaguely knew about some of them because of one of my favorite series, The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden.

Some of the best I’ve had the pleasure of exploring in my six classes are “The Frog Princess”, “Ivan Tsaravitch, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf,” “Koschei the Deathless”, and “Vasilisa the Beautiful”. If you have read Arden’s fantasy series before, you will definitely enjoy going through these and other fairytales.

The Charlie Bone Series

I don’t know why, but when I go through stressful periods of change in my life I like to go back and read this series through. I find it intensely satisfying to read stories that have their heroes face evil and malicious intent but come out conquerors despite everything against them.

What I’ve always liked about Nimmo’s titular series is how she weaves in elements of fantasy with the Arts. Someone once asked me which book series I would enjoy falling into. I’d say this would definitely be the winner. Even if Bloors Academy starts off as a terrible school, I would have loved to have lived in their old city witnessing the world’s magic come to life.

Blissful Land

“Khang Zhipa is a 13-year-old doctor’s apprentice living in a mountain village in 18th-century Tibet. One day, when he gets back from collecting medicinal herbs, he finds a bride-to-be and her wedding party will be resting at his home for the night. The bride’s name is Moshi Rati and it turns out she’s actually Khang Zhipa’s fiancée from another land, here to stay! Enjoy this heartwarming slice-of-life tale woven by a kind-hearted boy and his mysterious bride.”

This delightful series came very unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I don’t know very much about Tibet’s history, but this series made it’s people and their culture come to life for me. Some might think this story is slow, or uninteresting. I disagree. I liked it’s easy-going nature and lack of toxic drama. If you like more historical manga, but don’t like excessive violence or drama this is the series for you.

I loved it for its breathtaking art, knowledge of ancient medicinal practices, and for taking its time to mindfully portray such a gorgeous culture.

What have I been watching?

So far, I’ve seen two new movies and one new series. (Like I said, I haven’t really been going out of my way lately to see new things.)

I usually don’t go see movies in theaters. No because I don’t love movies! I’m just picky. And busy. But I went to the theater with my family and watched this new adventure drama. It’s wasn’t the greatest movie I’ve ever seen, but it was fun, had cool effects and some nice twists to it. If anything I thought it was a Hodge podge of The African Queen (1951) with Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and The Mummy (1999).

I will say, I like how the movie poster is sort of reminiscent of old adventure films from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Shang-Chi was a very thought-provoking watch for me. I wouldn’t say the plot was revolutionary. It was quite predictable. But I liked the heroes journey Shang went through as he learned to balance the good he learned from his mother and the bad he inherited from his father. I’m a sucker for good marital arts in films, and this movie DOES NOT disappoint in that aspect.

I also thought his father’s story arc was deeper than it initially seemed. I wondered a lot about how we become biproducts of our ancestors and carry with us connections with these family members beyond this life. I also thought a lot about ENERGY in and outside the body and how we can learn to control it through meditative movement.

All in all, I would watch this again if someone pulled it up.

Yeah. . . for some reason I keep re-watching episodes from this show. Part of it’s funny, part of its gross, while another part tries to have philosophical moments mixed in with ridiculous editing and character designs. I still don’t know how I quite feel about this show. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out.

At first glance, this story seems like another rip off of snow white. It’s not. It’s more a story about two people from different worlds learning to live, grow, and love together. I remember reading this as a manga series about six years ago and loving its characters and story. I hesitated to watch the anime because. . . romance manga usually aren’t well voiced or animated.

Now, Snow White with the Red Hair is now officially one of my new favorite anime.

However, studio BONES did the animation and they went ALL OUT. The backgrounds are gorgeous and the fight scenes are well choreographed and paced. The story also flows very well and doesn’t feel too campy or corny.

What really sold me on this show was the English voice actors FUNIMATION chose. They did a phenomenal job working with the great character animators. The facial expressions and personality this show gave to the characters in this story blew me away!

I also think this is now one of my favorite love stories. Zen and Shiriyuki respect each other and love each other and their passions. They have goals and a vision for what their futures hold. They seen beyond self gratification and entitlement, common elements in forbidden loves stories, to how their relationship can and will effect each other and others around them.

All in all, I would definately check it out if you have the time!

Over the Garden Wall has yet again caught my interest

Over the Garden Wall always seems to pique my interest around this time of year. I start thinking about it’s curious episodes and hidden meanings. Then I start looking through YouTube essays, fan art, and Etsy merchants for ways to feed my passion for this series’ story and characters.

Here are a few cool finds from the last week or so!

I like this one because it went into depth about the literary and artistic Gothic themes interwoven throughout the episodes.
This was just an all-around good analysis of the series.

Hydro Flask stickers! You can guarantee I’ve bought these two.

I also found this amazing merchant BeneathTheLeaf who makes charm bracelets for a lot of different shows and stories including (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) Over the Garden Wall! I want to have one custom made for me. I think it is the coolest thing! Check out other items she has! She has a lot of variety and does custom designs.

I’ve also been perusing fanart! Because I’m a NERD. An art nerd.

There you have it! Everything here is basically what I’ve been looking through, studying and trying to understand lately. Once October comes around, well, I’ll have A LOT more to talk about. Until then, enjoy the rest of September!

So, What Have I Been Up To? Books, Yoga, Anime and more!

The time has gone by so fast! I’ve read a lot of things, watched some interesting shows, and even found some promising new series. I’ve also finished and started some stimulating projects! Now, I know there a lot of book lovers who come by and read my posts. I’ve definitely read a lot of things, but honestly my brain and attention have been ALL OVER THE PLACE.

So, this isn’t a book update. Its an everything update! Hope all who come here find something they can identify with.

Let’s get started!

For Yoga Lovers

Co-creators of Boho Beautiful Yoga Mark and Juliana Spicoluk

I found a new YouTube Yoga channel to follow! Boho Beautiful Yoga is run by spouses Mark and Juliana. Their YouTube videos are generally no longer than 30 minutes. They now have an on-demand streaming service you can download to your phone called Boho Beautiful On-Demand where you can take special courses or use longer training videos.

Their styles vary between Pilates, Ashtanga, and Yin-Yang Yoga. What I like to do is go over their videos to find new ways to teach certain sequences.

I’ve also been regularly going to Yoga Dose, which specializes in longer, strength building videos. Cici is one of their teachers who I personally know from my yoga studio in Provo, Utah. She is a great teacher who will definitely give you a great mental and physical workout.

What Books Have I Been Reading?

I have several favorite discoveries since last March!

Christian McKay Heidicker‘s Scary Stories for Young Foxes (2019)

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.

When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Overview via Goodreads

What I loved about this story is the format. Even though the storyteller seemed to only be telling a story, it felt too real to be fiction. Somehow, through its beautiful prose I felt myself fall under its spell from the first page. It made me reminisce about my childhood and how invested I became in the characters’ stories and longed for happy endings.

This story portrayed how even when faced with horrible evil and danger, the characters overcame them and continued to survive. It is also very honest. It doesn’t sugarcoat things. I wouldn’t recommend this story for really young readers but would definitely give it to kids 12+ to read.

Arlem HawksGeorgana’s Secret (2021)

1811, HMS Deborah

Georgana Woodall dreams of freedom—freedom from her past and freedom from her secret. She has been living on her father’s ship for years, disguised as a cabin boy named “George.” But hiding her true self is becoming more difficult, and she yearns to break free of her life on the sea.

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the boy under his wing.

Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.

Overview via Goodreads

I love sweet, Regency Era based love stories. What I enjoyed most about this novel is how it talked about gender-based boundaries, abuse, depression, and (of course) love. Lately, I’ve been drawn to characters who display great compassion in harsh circumstances and don’t let hate override doing good. I also paid special attention to how Dominic and Georgana faced losing sight of their identity.

If you like sweet romances, this is a definite read for you. It is also very clean (which I appreciate) without overlooking realistic problems which inevitably come up in life.

Image via Potterboy.com

Ben Behunin‘s Pleasantly Ruby (2020)

Two weeks into her five month stint at the farm on Harmony Hill, Genevieve Patterson, will be the first to admit she may have overlooked a few important details for the article she was sent here to write. The keys of joy, shared and understood by Pops and Ruby, as well as many of the townsfolk—and the even the neighboring Amish community—are insightful and compelling. Thanks to Matt and Greg, Genevieve’s appreciation for the deeper meaning of these uncommon keys continues to grow, causing her to question the meaning of her previous life in the city. An exploration of these keys and the personal application of them promises joy and liberty, but Genevieve must decide for herself how and if the keys will influence her future. An Amish invitation, a new Niederbipp tradition, Protopian aspirations, and a Sunday homily will all weigh in to tip the scales—but in which direction?

Overview via Goodreads

First off, Ben Behunin is one of my favorite authors. Second off, he isn’t really a writer by trade. First and foremost he is a potter and artist. From a literary viewpoint, I’d say his books are rough around the edges. From a spiritual viewpoint, I believe this and his other books carry some of the most important truths we can apply to our lives. This book isn’t really about campers learning how to get married. It’s about people learning what truly invites joy into their lives.

If you are interested in this book or others he’s written, Please check out his website Potterboy.com! His Remembering Isaac series is still one of my favorite reads to take with me on morning walks!

Any New Manga/Manhwa?

Roctis Tray’s Atelier on the Sunflower Hill (2019-?)

After discovering a hidden chamber inside her uncle’s house, Evangeline Griffon accidentally awakens an ancient being who calls himself Vernon. Bind by the contract, Eva unwillingly accepts Vernon being her guardian as she starts her new life in the countryside.

Overview via Webtoon.com

Vernon is now one of my new favorite characters! (Well, I also really like Evangeline.) I have a soft spot in my heart for gentle, compassionate people. This Manhwa (?) delves a lot in how to positively face trauma, negative emotions, and how to embrace love into your life. I can’t talk about it too much without ruining this story, but it was one of my favorite new finds in a long time.

The art is simplified, but over time the author gets better at character and background artwork. Warning though: Webtoon.com bumped Atelier to originals so it may take awhile for it to finish.

Morishita, Suu‘s Yubisaki to Renren (A Sign of Affection) (2019-?)

Yuki is a hearing-impaired university student whose world has been shrouded with silence since birth. She has lived in the same place her whole life, and rarely interacts with others save for her best friend, Rin. During her commute one day, she meets the silver-haired and multilingual Itsuomi, a mutual friend of Rin. Unlike most, Itsuomi is unwavering when he learns of Yuki’s impairment; this, along with his experiences abroad, fascinates and touches her. After they part, her fondness of him starts to grow. A new world begins to open for both Yuki and Itsuomi as they learn about each other’s different lives.

Overview via Myanimelist

I can’t get enough of this light-hearted little love story. I’ve always been fascinated by sign language and watching Yuki interact with her world is just wonderful. I’m a big fan of the anime movie Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) (2018), so finding this manga was a lovely treat for me.

This romance is incredibly healthy and realistic. There isn’t a lot of drama, Itsuomi is VERY respectful of Yuki and her personality, and their relationship progresses slowly. Neither gives up their dreams or values for the other. They find each other and grow a little closer in every chapter.

If your preferences, especially for love stories, are more mellow and light-hearted this is the story for you! You can actually purchase the manga volumes on Amazon.com already.

Oh! Morishita’s art style and covers are GORGEOUS. I’m a big fan now!

Doruru’s Koekoi (2020-?)

Finding an adequate overview of this series was hard, so I’ll do it myself. 🙂 This story centers around a girl Yuiko, who is scared to go to school after being sick for a long while, and her unexpected relationship with her class president Matsubara who calls her to see how she is doing.

Once she decides to go back to school so she can meet him, she sees him and is shocked to see he always wears a paper bag over his head. Though it’s confusing, she can’t shake how calm and kind his voice had been when he called her. Their friendship/ romance(?) takes flight from that moment forward.

What I like about this story is how it emphasizes the source of genuine human emotion. It focuses on how Yuiko, Matsubara, and other characters struggle to convey their feelings. Reading this made me realize how superficial relationships can be if they are solely based on what we SEE. It makes me believe a person’s heart can be conveyed solely through their voice and actions.

Now, if you want to read this, you’ll need to get an app called Pocket Comics. You can collect daily tickets so you can read one chapter a day or choose to spend money on coins so you can read more.

Snapshot from It’s Okay Not to Be Okay (2020)

What Have I Been Watching?

I haven’t seen any new movies lately (It’s so sad I know!) but I’ve found a few really good shows.

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay (2020)

Moon Gang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun), is a caretaker working at a psychiatric ward who does not even bother to believe in love. He seems to be carrying all the weight and pain in life, and devotes himself only to looking after his disabled older brother.

Go Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji), is a children’s book writer who is clueless about love. She is popular among all age groups, yet very antisocial and indifferent to others.[2]

An extraordinary road to emotional healing opens up for an antisocial children’s book writer and a selfless psych ward caretaker when they cross paths.

Overview via DramaWiki

Wow. I usually watch Korean dramas to laugh at them. (Because they try to be anime, but can’t because. . . they’re live action.) It’s Okay stole my heart in the first episode. It’s expertly paced, incredibly raw, and addresses various mental issues without tearing down those who struggle with them.

I also really enjoyed how. . . off the beaten oath the children’s book author could be. She definitely walked to the beat of her own drum. I loved the characters, their stories, and the deeply poignant children’s stories showcased throughout the show. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll leave it at that.

Watch it on Netflix.

Kinema Citrus‘s Made in Abyss (2017)

The Abyss—a gaping chasm stretching down into the depths of the earth, filled with mysterious creatures and relics from a time long past. How did it come to be? What lies at the bottom? Countless brave individuals, known as Divers, have sought to solve these mysteries of the Abyss, fearlessly descending into its darkest realms. The best and bravest of the Divers, the White Whistles, are hailed as legends by those who remain on the surface.

Riko, daughter of the missing White Whistle Lyza the Annihilator, aspires to become like her mother and explore the furthest reaches of the Abyss. However, just a novice Red Whistle herself, she is only permitted to roam its most upper layer. Even so, Riko has a chance encounter with a mysterious robot with the appearance of an ordinary young boy. She comes to name him Reg, and he has no recollection of the events preceding his discovery. Certain that the technology to create Reg must come from deep within the Abyss, the two decide to venture forth into the chasm to recover his memories and see the bottom of the great pit with their own eyes. However, they know not of the harsh reality that is the true existence of the Abyss.

Overview via Myanimelist

Made in Abyss has been on my bucket list for SOOOOOO LONG. I finally got around to watching it with my brother and it was a satisfyingly dissatisfied experience. I realized the show isn’t over. . . and thought well drat. I have to wait to find out what happens!

Let me do a shout out for what I loved without spoiling anything.

1.The Animation– The backgrounds had such beautiful depth and coloring! Character animation was also crisp and captivating to follow. It also blended fantasy and reality through its visuals wonderfully!

2. The Characters– Usually in these types of stories the characters have one or maybe two dimensions to them. It is not so in this show! Plus, their motivations and personalities transform as they go through their experiences.

3. The Mystery- I couldn’t figure it out. That is a sign of a great mystery show. It gave me enough to satisfy some of my curiosity but left enough unsaid so I’ll definitely come back for more later.

This show is not for the faint of heart. It has, like the Abyss itself, a dark underbelly with grisly imagery. I had to turn away many times because I couldn’t stomach some of the scenes. But this means Made in Abyss is for sure a story with an important message.

ufotable‘s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2016-?)

Ever since the death of his father, the burden of supporting the family has fallen upon Tanjirou Kamado’s shoulders. Though living impoverished on a remote mountain, the Kamado family are able to enjoy a relatively peaceful and happy life. One day, Tanjirou decides to go down to the local village to make a little money selling charcoal. On his way back, night falls, forcing Tanjirou to take shelter in the house of a strange man, who warns him of the existence of flesh-eating demons that lurk in the woods at night.

When he finally arrives back home the next day, he is met with a horrifying sight—his whole family has been slaughtered. Worse still, the sole survivor is his sister Nezuko, who has been turned into a bloodthirsty demon. Consumed by rage and hatred, Tanjirou swears to avenge his family and stay by his only remaining sibling. Alongside the mysterious group calling themselves the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjirou will do whatever it takes to slay the demons and protect the remnants of his beloved sister’s humanity.

Overview via Myanimelist

Once upon a time, I watched Demon Slayer‘s first episode and vowed never to see the show. That was a shortsighted decision. I’ve seen about 10 episodes now and am in awe of how beautifully crafted this anime is! The story doesn’t waste time with filler and fluff. The animation is purposeful and so gorgeous it leaves me spellbound. the characters develop and change in ways that don’t scream at the audience. Their motivations are simply complex and a joy to watch unfold.

I could gush about how in love I am with the show now but. . . I won’t. You should go check it out for yourself! However, this is another show not for the faint of heart. The reason the first episode turned me off the first time I saw it is because of how traumatizing the story is. Tanjirou and his family endure so much grief. Also, the demons are EVIL. Some of them will make your teeth curl.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve been exploring these past few months! Hopefully, I’ll add to this list as the year goes by.

Happy hunting for books, yoga teachers, anime, manga, and the like!