Watch List

"Segodon" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Segodon” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This year I’ve started having a lot more “screentime” due to the fact that I have a Moviepass (which is awesome!), but I am also trying to watch more dorama, anime, and other Japanese TV. Actually, almost all the tv I watch is on TV Japan since I am a Japanophile, and I love some of the documentary and travel programs.

Anyways, here’s what on my watch list at the moment:

  • Segodon (Taiga) – Really good historical drama. I like most of the actors in it, plus my celebrity crush Kitagawa Keiko has a part.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Live action) – Silly fun and cute girls (and Kitagawa Keiko as Sailor Mars!)
  • Your Lie in April (Anime) – Liked the movie so why not? I also enjoy watching anime to see how the characters are drawn.
  • Recovery of an MMO Junkie (Anime) – The story of the MMO junkie from a female point-of-view is interesting and over-the-top. She’s so kawaisou (pitiful) it’s funny.
  • Quartet (Dorama) – This one is by the writer of Anone, but the characters aren’t very interesting to me. A little too slow so far but I’m sure it will get better.

That’s it!

I hope you had a nice Monday. ☺

またね~

Beautiful Day for a Ride

"Ride Day" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Ride Day” Cedar Park, 2018

こんにちは。How’s it going?

Today the sun was shining and the weather was perfect for a motorbike ride. Whenever I get on my F650 GS, I remember the long journeys I took, especially my two day trip through Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. It is so fun to eat up the miles riding on top of two wheels! And hitting the state line is kind of a thrill, especially because we live in the center of Texas and the border is a good 8 hours in any direction.

Today’s ride was just around the town where we live, but it’s always fun to experience that bit of freedom and speed that a motorcycle provides. It’s a wonderful way to feel truly alive. 😊

I hope you had a nice Sunday!

またね~

Swan Songs

Listening to the “Swan Songs” playlist and feeling sad. It’s a Spotify playlist of songs put together by All Things Considered (NPR) that people would like played at their own funerals. I wonder what I would choose?

The link to the story and playlist was put in my inbox by the wonderful Recommendo email newsletter. It’s awesome.

Your Lie in April – 四月は君の嘘 Review

こんばんは。Tonight Your Lie in April (四月は君の嘘) was on TV Japan so Koa and I watched it together. Surprisingly, Koa said he had already seen it on the plane when we traveled over Christmas break. I guess he enjoyed it enough to want to watch it again. I’m not sure if it is because there is a lot of musical performance in it, or if he’s now interested in girls/romantic stories, but whatever! I was happy to have his company while I watched it.

******* SPOILERS FOLLOW – YOU MAY WANT TO SKIP DIRECTLY DOWN TO THE TRAILER *********

I’m a fan of Hirose Suzu 広瀬 すず (Anone, Umimachi Diary) and will watch anything that she stars in, so it was great to find a movie of hers on TV Japan, and in HD with English subtitles! w00t! I didn’t know much about the story beforehand except that it’s an adaptation from a manga and I was expecting it to be a very light teen romantic comedy, but it turned out to have a deeper story, and was actually kind of a tear-jerker! I’d categorize it as a “teen romantic musical tragedy”. 😆

Your Lie in April follows the main characters, Kaori (Hirose) and Kōsei (Yamazaki Kento 山﨑 賢人), two musically talented high school students who team up to perform in a musical recital. Actually, Kaori convinces Kōsei, who has quit piano years earlier, to be her accompaniment. Her carefree yet determined attitude helps him overcome his fear of performing, and it seemed like the story will follow the formula of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, both confess their love for each other and they reunite with a triumphant concert performance.

Well, things take a big turn when Kaori falls seriously ill and Kōsei, Kaori, and their two close friends Tsubaki and Watari confront their feelings and confess to their love interests. However, things get complicated and the confessions didn’t make complete sense to me so I was wondering if there was some kind of hole in the plot.

Anyways, the story continues on, with Kōsei telling Kaori in the hospital that he has decided to enter a regional piano competition and that he wants to perform together with her in the future. With this in mind, Kaori decides to undergo a risky operation to cure her terminal illness.

Soon after, she goes into surgery while at the same time Kōsei is performing in the concert. This musical performance was probably the most touching scene in the movie because while he plays, Kaori’s image appears and accompanies him on violin. However, towards the end of the song, she stops playing, lowers her violin, and, shedding tears, fades away, signifying the fact that she did not survive the operation. 😭

"Your Lie in April" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO250
“Your Lie in April” Cedar Park, 2018

The story picks up a few months later, with Kōsei reading a letter that Kaori had written to him before she had her operation. In it, she reveals how she had known of Kōsei since they were small kids when she saw him at a piano recital. It was then that she decided to play violin in hopes that she could play with him one day. Years later in high school, as her illness became more serious, she decided to live the rest of her life to the fullest and made an effort to become closer to Kosei and his friends in order to make her dream come true. The lie she told (to which the film’s title refers) was that she said she loved Watari (in order to go on a double-date with Kōsei and Tsubaki). The truth was that she was actually in love with Kosei. 😭

I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I thought I would, mainly because the plot made complete sense after Kaori’s letter was read by Kōsei. And Hirose Suzu’s acting is always charming and she can seemingly let the tears flow on command. Yamazaki Kento probably had the most challenging role and did a good job expressing his inner struggles, especially during his piano pieces. Speaking of the musical performances, I read that both Hirose and Yamazaki spent 6 months practicing their instruments before filming. It really shows because they certainly seemed convincing (at least to me).

I really loved the setting of Your Lie in April (movie version) – the Shonan coast. Their high school sat on a hill, with a view of the ocean and Enoshima island. There was even a cool river heading to the ocean that they jumped into from a high bridge. It looked like a great area to live in. I’ve actually taken a couple of day trips down there when I lived in Japan, and it has a really cool, laid-back beach vibe. I loved it.

Although not a truly amazing film, Your Lie in April is a solidly entertaining story with good acting and some touching scenes. And the musical performances are great as well. I recommend it! My rating is 7.5/10.

Flickr

Barton Springs, Austin TX

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Yesterday Smugmug announced that it was buying Flickr. I’ve been using Flickr for over 13 years and have loved it this whole time, mostly as a paying “Pro” user. The photo above was my first upload to Flickr, back in 2005. I took the photo with a Holga camera using 120 film.

Through all the years, and many cameras, I’ve often wondered why people have been so damning of Flickr. Sure, it hasn’t been the most cutting-edge service, and the mobile experience is not very compelling, but for a desktop/laptop user it’s been a consistently solid place to share photos and have discussions in different groups. I’m hoping that never changes.

Anyways, I wanted to mention how fun it is when a photo gets chosen to be on Flickr’s Explore page. When that happens (and it’s a mystery how a photo gets chosen) your email inbox suddenly starts getting a ton of notifications and you can watch the number of photo-views skyrocket. It’s lots of fun!

Just yesterday, the sunset photo that Koa took got “Explored” and the views and favorites took off. I thought it was a nice coincidence that it happened on the day Flickr was bought by Smugmug. 😀

Daily Photo – 2018.04.18

As an amateur photographer, I love Instagram on my phone, but I’ll probably always be a Flickr user. 😄

I hope you have a nice Saturday!

またね~

Friday Night Drinking Buddy

"Osaka Obasan" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Osaka Obasan” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

We made it to Friday! I’m celebrating by sipping on a glass of whiskey with my friend from Osaka. She’s a little odd, but very funny. 😆

I hope you had a great week!

またね~

Bread

"Baking Corner" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Baking Corner” Cedar Park, 2018

🍞🥖❤️Bread Life!