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After I got married, I gained 36 pounds. All my co-workers, even the ones with kids, were skinny. It made me wonder how Japanese people stayed thin without any effort. I’ve turned to anime and manga (and my Kinesiology background) to find the answers.

Anime/Manga Advice True or False?

cousin-l0Cousin (Unlicensed) Food and Baths

·         Eat brown rice instead of white rice.

·         Cook at home.

·         Avoid eating out.

·         Eat small portions.

·         Take 45-minute baths before going to sleep.

·         Brown rice has more dietary fiber and fewer calories than white rice.·         Cooking at home will mean you won’t overeat or buy unnecessary food.·         Your body operates on an input-output cycle. Smaller portions mean smaller fat deposits.

·         Steam may exfoliate the skin, but 45-minute baths do not cause weight loss. They only cause you to lose water weight, or weight that can easily be regained by drinking water. Sure, your heart rate goes up, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing—some people have heart problems or palpitations. Hot baths also dry out your skin. I would stick with a 20-minute bath for relaxation.

Real ClothesReal Clothes (Unlicensed) Exercise and Heartbreak·

·         Go running in the morning.

·         Get dumped by your lover and pine away by refusing meals.

·         If you exercise in the morning, your metabolism will get a wake-up call greater than your cup of coffee. Plus, you get better sleep than people who exercise in the evening.

·         Some people experience heartbreak–and quickly ditch their meals to dwell on the shards left by their lovers. Results may vary.

High_School_Debut_volume_1High School Debut (Licensed by Viz) Exercise

·         Go running in winter gear.

·         Heat will help you lose weight, but it is only temporary. You’re just sweating water weight, which will return once you drink water.

cromsonheroCrimson Hero (Licensed by Viz) Exercise

·         Play a sport.

·         Tired of running past the same scenery? Devote yourself to a sport like basketball, boxing, soccer, or in Nobara’s case, volleyball.

Doubt_volume_1_by_Kaneyoshi_IzumiDoubt! (Licensed by Yen Press) Food and Exercise

·         Don’t eat sweets.

·         Use a treadmill or home exercise program.

·         Do a diet program.

·         Ditch the processed sweets and pick up fruits, nuts, veggies, and yogurt.

·         If you don’t have a treadmill or gym membership, I would suggest a home exercise program like FitnessBlender Youtube videos or Jilian Michaels’s DVDs.·         Diet programs may help you lose weight, but if you don’t make it your lifestyle, you’ll balloon into a state worse than your previous weight. Certain diet programs were created for specific types of bodies (ex. Atkins’ No-Carb Diet was made for obese people). My advice: re-create your eating habits and stick to it.

wallflowerThe Wallflower (Licensed by Tokyopop) Drink Water

·         Drink water as soon as you wake up.

·         Nothing metabolizes fat better than water. Drink lots of it instead of sugary alternatives. Soda, energy drinks, and sports beverages all have exuberant amounts of sugar that’ll send your energy downhill when it hits 3 o’clock. If you don’t like plain water, squeeze a lemon into it. Also try green tea or black coffee for your energy fixes.

Anime and manga say that this idea of effortless thinness is not so effortless. On a daily basis, Japanese people are mindful of their eating habits, portions, and exercise regiments—something that the rest of us can do in a quest towards weight loss.

Jade’s Rant

I’ve tried all of these suggestions, and the one that has worked for me the most is my diet. Without exercise, I lost 13 pounds by revising our eating habits and sticking with it. My husband and I stopped eating meat and processed foods—chips, ketchup, soda—and replaced them with vegetables, fish, fruits, and wheat. Our lunches are measured every day, and they usually include beans, eggs, rice, salad, vegetable soup, and pasta. This lifestyle of cooking most of our meals is a little tough, but we plan ahead.

Exercise won’t account for most of your weight loss. In some cases, exercisers will see increased weight. What exercise does is build muscle, and that muscle will help burn some fat but not all of it. Your waist might get smaller and your arms might get leaner, but the real fix for your fat is your diet. If you’re about to make an excuse for not losing weight—“It’s too hard”, “I don’t have time”, “I don’t have money”—I’m sure collapsed lungs (around $20,000), heart failure ($20,000-$93,000), diabetes ($7,000-$13,000 per year), and death ($3,000-$6,600 average cost) can convince you to re-think those excuses.

How to get started for free?

Change 1 meal out of your day. That meal can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Make sure that meal has lots of veggies, fiber, and lean protein such as grilled chicken or fish. When you’re ready to change another meal, do it! You’ll start to see changes in your body after 30 days.

Eat less processed food. They aren’t good for you. Did you know soda is used by police officers to watch blood off the streets? Did you know mechanics use soda to take the corrosion off car batteries? Imagine what it can do your stomach. Did you know most processed food is made up of sugars, corn, and salt? Next time, look at the label and find the nutritional value.

Cook at home. A restaurant isn’t going to understand your taste buds or weight struggles. Make your food at home and check out Youtube and websites for awesome and delicious recipes. My favorite is AllRecipes.com!

Try FitnessBlender’s (or any other Youtube channel’s) chair or low-impact cardio programs. They take 10 to 30 minutes, and they’re great for anyone who has leg or knee injuries (like myself).

Go walking with a friend or loved one. When my friend was learning English, we used to take walks twice a week around our neighborhood. If you want to burn more calories, add a 1-minute jogging interval to your walk, and you’ll burn triple the calories of walking.

Laugh those pounds away! Depending on the intensity of the laughter, you can trim 10 to 40 calories off with comedy. If you’re a comedy head like me, watch George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Steve Colbert, Kevin Hart, Patrice O’Neal, Sommore, and Loni Love.

Squat it out while watching TV or listening to a podcast. Every time I tune into Sleepy Hollow or Elementary, I do squats, pushups, and tricep dips. It’s better than being a couch potato…and later becoming a potato.

It’s hard getting cheap supplies for making your art. Besides the “Manga Pens” article I posted, some artists can check back here to find some deals I’ve found on the internet. (If you find any deals, let me know in the comments section or tweet me at [ at ] jeridel on Twitter.) Pens

Uchida Pens

Supplies

Acurit Light Tablet – 50% off (dropped to $99)

Screentones

Manga

Digital Manga Sale

CIMG2926

I entered a giveaway on one of my favorite blogs, Tokyo5, and won two specialty origami paper sets from Tuttle!

CIMG2927

I’m so happy to have these! I studied both Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige in college, and I fell in love with ukiyo-e, or woodblock prints. Who are Hokusai and Hiroshige? They are ukiyo-e artists who changed both the techniques and styles of ukiyo-e into what we know it today. Hokusai created unique compositions in 36 Views of Mount Fuji (find the repetition of three in The Great Wave off Kanagawa), and Hiroshige developed color gradients in ukiyo-e like Plum Tree at Kameido.

The_Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai (1820s) Image Credit

plumtree

Plum Tree at Kameido (1857) by Utagawa Hiroshige Image Credit

In my Japanese Art History class, I had to copy a master’s art piece, and I chose Hiroshige’s Plum Tree at Kameido. See my try!

tryinjaponism

Japan has many food holidays on specific numbers such as Strawberry Day (January 5th), or ichi go, which means “strawberry”, and  Veggie Day (August 31st), or ya sa i, which means “vegetable” in Japanese.  One food holiday that uses dates with a special meaning is November 11th’s Pocky Day. November 11th, which is 11-11, looks like a pack of the chocolate-coated biscuit sticks. Glico and their amazing marketing team put together a commercial just for this sticky snack.

This year’s commercial idol is Gantz live action star and ARASHI boy bander Kazunari Ninomiya. In the commercials, he plays a “demon of sorrow” while holding his precious Pocky.

I love how Kazunari screams, “Help me!” at the end of this commercial. Dude, you’re a demon. Even you’re sad, stop tearing up my neighborhood!

Anyways, how can you celebrate this fun and simple holiday? You can buy Pocky or try the Pocky Game Challenge.

I’m getting used to making digital art nowadays, and this next project proves it. In my past art projects, especially the last Ryukyu Star cover and my personal avatar picture, I had trouble with the coloring. There was a thin layer of white surrounding all the lines I filled in even when I made the pictures into vectors in Illustrator. I finally looked up how to color hand-drawn images from a free class on Skillshare.

skillshare

I highly recommend joining this website. It has classes on art, writing, and marketing–all things artists, writers, and self-promoting bloggers need in this digital world.

The hardest part about this project? The actual concept. I hate re-using other motifs, and if I have to, I’d rather just not do it or tackle it in a different way. I pulled out the most famous part of Alice in Wonderland–falling down the rabbit hole–and replaced Alice with a man working on something because this is the busiest time for English teachers.

Image (69)

I ended up changing the original concept and added a fall-to-winter doorway.
rsFallcover2014_1 After changing the original design, I started to paint the image in Photoshop. I learned that if I put the image’s layer in Multiply mode (it’s usually set in Normal mode), all whites in the picture would become transparent. This solved my white line problem and made my life a lot easier.

rsFallcover2014_2

I did almost lose the colored picture. I was happy to play with lots of colors and gradients to get the final image below.

rsFallcover2014_3

Jd Banks:

hmmm, I’ll have to add this to my list of other courses

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

MC 1

A quick look through the shelves of a bookstore or the inventory of online retailers will turn up tons of guides for how to draw manga. When still getting the hang of the basics of dynamic drawing, a book is the ideal way for many people to learn, since it spares them the embarrassment of having anyone else see their painfully produced yet still subpar early work.

Still, there’s only so much you can learn from on you own through reading and independent practice. That’s why toymaker Takara Tomy is releasing a kit that includes not just the tools of the trade, but demonstrations by a published manga artist and feedback from professional instructors.

View original 372 more words

Devil May Cry: The Animated Series

Review by: Jd Banks

Licensed by: FUNimation Entertainment

Production by: Madhouse

Devil May Cry hands over what fans want in the form of blood, swords, and platinum white hair. Following the premise of the popular Capcom game, Devil May Cry stars Dante, a rumored half-demon, half-human demon hunter with an affinity towards pizza and sundaes. In spite of being an odds-job mercenary, Dante only services a client base looking to kill demons. Between bouts with man-eating demons, many of which prove to be either annoying or perpetually idiotic, Dante lives a simplistic life waiting for more jobs to filter into his business called Devil May Cry. At his side is his agent, Morrison, who carries in the information and clientele. Other characters thrown into mix include other demon hunters and an orphaned girl masquerading as Dante’s immature sidekick.

The main plot is casual compared to the anime’s game predecessor, but it is in animation that Dante can truly flaunt his personality. With Madhouse’s superb productions making each sword-swinging and gun-toting scene memorable, Devil May Cry reaches the same dynamism as the game. Most of the action scenes are filled with bullets hitting their targets, swords clashing, and Dante dodging deadly attacks made by demons three times his size. There is a monochromatic nature to the anime, excluding the bright-colored orphaned girl, but the animation is on par with the Devil May Cry video game.

Aside from the animation that leaves fans hungering for more action, the characters are downright predictable, bringing down a grade-A anime. Conventional characters and character personas drag an anime down, no matter how great the animation may be. Though Dante is a bonafide badass in killing demons to protect the human world, he has a kind streak that prevents him from paying off his debts. His agent, Morrison, is kind as well, but his nature is more business-like. He may go out of his way to fix a jukebox, but he only does nice things to pass the time without work. Most of the time, he scolds Dante when a job is uncompleted.

Beside Morrison and Dante is little Patty Lowell, an orphan chosen to unwittingly impersonate another Patty Lowell during one of Dante’s assignments. Her vibrant and rambunctious personality contrasts with Dante’s lazy persona as well as everything else that Devil May Cry represents. Typical of anime, Patty plays a crucial role at the end of the series, but other than that, she’s a cheap form of comedic relief, if there is any. Even the squabbles between Dante’s ex-partner, Trish, and another demon hunter dubbed Lady, are not very funny. They just part the awkward silence between demon-hunting.

Discarding the nature of the characters, Devil May Cry has many selling points. The entire anime series is only twelve episodes long, keeping the attention span of those itching to get right to the good stuff. There is the option of picking the English dub version or Japanese language setting with English subtitles. Even the riveting music from Rungran gives the anime an interesting audio backdrop.

Devil May Cry offers an above-average anime within the confines of the conventional anime box. If you want to boost your anime collection, pick up Devil May Cry: The Animated Series.

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