All posts by Eva

Deadman Wonderland – Review & Opinion

This series isn’t exactly old, but it’s still been on my to-watch list for a while. Seeing as it has a massive fan base, I decided to catch up with it. After watching Nanbaka, it felt like jumping from one weird prison to the next. Now, was it worth the jump? I’d say meh… I really don’t know if it was, but let me write a short review before I slam my honest opinion onto the table.

Ganta is a normal schoolboy, who is talking with his friends about how they’re going to visit Deadman Wonderland on a school trip. And visit the place he shall, as a prisoner, after his entire class is being slaughtered, and he as the lone survivor gets framed for the crime, and put to jail as a walking deadman. As expected from the name of the prison, inmates sentenced to death are being used as entertainment for visitors, but not in the good and fun way. No, they die in the most horrible ways before the eyes of ignorant people, who think it’s all a show with special effects.

The prizes for winning such entertainment events include money and candy, something that’s necessary for prisoners to survive, as candy neutralizes the poison being pumped into their bodies from a collar. Of course Ganta wants to survive, so he sets out to enter some events, with the help of the mysterious girl Shiro, who seems to know more about the boy than a stranger should.

While trying to survive, Ganta notices how he is able to control his own blood as a projectile, an ability he was given by the one who really murdered his entire class, a guy he dubbed the “Red Man”. Gantas primal goal, other than living on, is finding this man, so that he can prove his innocence. By doing so, he finds both new enemies and friends, and some of them are able to control their blood as well, leading to some heavy fights.

Okay, this basically sums up what the series is about… ooor does it? Uhm, it sums up the first half at least, and now I’m gonna write my opinion about the second half, which is full of SPOILERS. You’ve been warned, so read on if you’ve watched it already, or you just don’t care.

So, half way into the series, it takes a radical turn into a very different direction. While it used to be about Ganta wanting to survive, it’s now about Ganta wanting to escape. I can see why of course, as no one in their right mind would want to be inside Deadman Wonderland, and Ganta is a really weak shit, always relying on the help of Shiro, who we eventually find out is the Red Man. No, she is not a man, but she apparently dressed up as one just to kill all Ganta’s friends, and make him go to the prison she lives in.

But it stops there. The entire Red Man plot, which used to drive the story forward stops right there. We now know something very important… but it doesn’t matter. Also, candy, which seemed so very important in the first half, becomes completely obsolete until the second last episode, where it’s suddenly mentioned again for plot convenience. I could go on about the awful storytelling in the last half of the series, but I won’t, as nothing makes sense at all, and the ending is not wrapping anything up.

Let’s move on to the characters, as they are plenty, and new ones show up in every episode. Actually, there are so many characters, that many of them get killed off fast, or simply disappear for a while every now and then like Makina, or vanish completely when not needed anymore, like Yoh, who only got a mention by his sister in the end. What bothers me more though is, that we get to know just about every character’s backstory, but it doesn’t matter, because the chance that the character you just got to know stays on screen long enough for you to care is slim. To be honest, the only character I really liked was Senji, and he is one of the few characters we get to know nothing about.

While we’re at Senji, did anyone notice how he was the only character who made Ganta develop in any way? Because during the whole series, not a single character develops in any way, not even Ganta, until he asks Senji to train him and get stronger. When Shiro told Ganta to his face that he is weak, I agreed so much with her. Granted, he learns how to shoot his blood, but it’s such a lame ability, and it doesn’t do any good until his training with Senji. No one changes personality though, other than Nagi, but he was on drugs, so it doesn’t count. When you meet a character, you can be darn sure, that he/she will stay exactly the same during the time he/she is on screen. It’s sad…

This series needs either a second season to make up for the mess the second half has left behind, or an OVA to quickly wrap up the questions it has left unanswered. Sadly though, I think it’s not gonna happen, and it will forever be a broken anime. I can recommend the first half of the series, but I’d tell anyone to avoid the rest, and make up their own story before Ganta decides to try and escape.

On a side note, I would have liked the series to end with Makina leaking information during the inspection week, ending all of the insane slaughtering of prisoners, and the world finally opening their eyes to what they witnessed during their visits in the park. I could have lived with some open questions, if only it had an ending where you knew that something actually ended.

Nanbaka – Review

I just couldn’t resist watching this colorful madness of a glittery rainbow ride! Was it worth it? Despite what I’ve seen some people write about the series, I’d say yes! You need to be into weird characters, even weirder storylines, and lots of bright colors though, to enjoy this show for what it is; a comedy anime.

We start out by following our four main characters Jyugo, Uno, Rock and Nico, as they break out of a prison, that is supposedly impossible to break out of. Or at least no one has succeeded in doing so yet. It is quickly discovered as to why, when our four friends meet their monitor, the prison infamous guard Hajime, who puts an end to their jailbreak the instant they try to escape… every time they break out.

During the first handful of episodes, no real storyline is to be found, but we get to know our jailbreak heroes very well, as well as some of the main guards in the prison. It’s nearly impossible to take anything seriously at this point, besides maybe Hajime, who is very serious about his job. Even the prison warden, who is very dedicated and seems humorless, turns into a little girl in love, as she has a very (very!) soft spot for Hajime, who is unaware of her affection towards him.

It all changes as the now well-known prisoners have to battle against the guards and their prisoners from other cell blocks for a new years tournament, where we get to see Jyugo’s secret powers as he fights against another prisoner, whom he seems to have met once in the past. From here on out, a rather serious storyline is being fleshed out, and we meet more sinister characters, who don’t seem to have any shred of humanity left in them.

Admitted, the wait for the actual storyline is very long, but then again, we get to know the main characters very well before anything happens, which in my case made me care more for them, than I would have if it all started with a bang. Even though the main story is dark and sinister, with human experiments, tough decisions and life choices, it’s still a comedy, and it knows when to take a break and let the viewer breathe.

If I had to use other words than comedy, I’d say Nanbaka is a series about friendship, betrayal, revenge and enjoying life, no matter the circumstances. I especially liked how the guards, while being whacky and colorful like the prisoners, always were grounded and serious in some way. Our four cellmates are lucky to have Hajime as their guard, though I’m quite sure he doesn’t feel the same about having them as his prisoners.

If you need something fun to watch while waiting for New Years Eve, try diving into the weird life of Nanba Prison. The best part is, that season 2 will start airing when you’re done celebrating! I’m looking forward to it 🙂

As a side note: I’m sorry for not being online right now, but my PC is still not up and running, and my boyfriend’s laptop is being repaired right now. So I’m using a darn tablet to post this, which is no fun at all, and I can’t wait to be back! Anyway, I hope you survived Christmas, and stay safe tomorrow, when celebrating the coming of 2017 😉

Etsy – My way or the highway

As you might already know, I’m selling my handmade jewelry on Etsy, and have done so since August. I found it to be a bit tedious to upload photos and write descriptions and tags every time, when most of the text is basically the same, but that’s part of it, so I’ll not complain about that. What I’d like to complain about is the price I’ve had to pay up until now, almost five months later. I’ve made two sales, and of course had to pay the listing fees, as well as the commission fees for them. Some of my listings have now updated, meaning that I had to pay their listing fees for another four months.

That’s all fine and well, but to be honest, I think Etsy is screwing me over with their prices. Up until now, I’ve paid $15 in fees and commissions, for the above mentioned sales and listings. Most of my listings have not been up for four months yet, and thus haven’t updated, so we’re not talking about all my stuff. I don’t know how it has become so expensive, as I can’t find any billing information on Etsy, other than the total of what I have to pay them. I don’t make many sales, as you can probably see, because I’m an idiot when it comes to marketing, my photos aren’t that great (yet), and I’ve had no time nor motivation because of us moving into a house that needs more attention right now.

Looking forward, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Etsy will keep throwing bills at me for things I can’t seem to figure out, and as I’ve already lost half of my profits to them, I don’t feel very comfortable using their services anymore. Yes, I’ll quit Etsy when my current listings have expired. Some expire in January, others just got updated and will expire in April. By then, I’ll have to find out what else I can do, to keep myself on the market, and hopefully make a profit with my crafting, so that I can keep buying materials.

Since yesterday afternoon, I’ve been looking into various platforms that only require me to pay a commission for every sale made. That means no listing fees, which I would have to pay even if I don’t sell anything, like right now with my very few sales, and little to no time for marketing. A friend is totally into Storenvy (you now who you are), and keeps mentioning it every time we have a conversation about selling platforms, so I looked a bit more into it than last time I was looking for a place to sell.

The thing about Storenvy is, that you can create a shop there, without having to pay anything at all. No listing fees, and no commission fees. Of course, there are the PayPal fees, but they are not part of the shop, as it’s a third party site with their own fees. But – and there is always a ‘but’ when it’s free – it would mean no exposure for my items on their site. To get exposure, I’d need to pay a 10% commission fee per item sold, which is quite a lot of money. To cover the 10% fee, I’d need to raise my prices by the amount lost, as well as PayPal fees of course, which can be up to 3.4%. Let’s do some math!

Selling a regular bottle charm directly with only materials and work time included would make it cost $10, so that will be the base price for my item in this example. Let’s say I put it up on Storenvy, and decide to be included in their marketplace, that’s + 10% = $11. I get my payment for it via PayPal, so we need to include their highest fee as well, that’s $11 + 3.4% = $11.37. I also need to buy something to put it in for shipping, and for a bottle charm, I’d need a small box for $0.70 to put the bottle in, and a bigger box for $1.40 when shipping. $11.37 + $0.70 + $1.40 = $13.47. That’s the amount the customer would have to pay, in order for me to cover all my costs, and still make a profit.

Compared to other people selling similar items as me, that’s actually a very fair price. But then again, if I cost the same as the others, will the customer pick me? Maybe, maybe not. Of course, that’s also the risk on Etsy, where the customer gets the wares of other shops thrown in their faces when they browse mine. It can’t be helped on an open platform that hosts many shops, and the creators of the sites want a profit too, which is very understandable. Having that in mind, a 10% commission fee is still a lot of money, as I do everything myself, from creating the item, to selling and shipping it. But then again, I could get some much needed exposure, support the platform with sales only (no listing fees), and it would still be easier than hosting a shop myself.

Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about starting my own eCommerce business, as I’d be able to sell for cheaper prices when doing so. The thing is though, that I don’t have the customer base to start off on my own. No one would find me, as I’m still an idiot when it comes to marketing, don’t know that much about SEO, and the whole internet with tons of shops would work against me. I’m neither big or good enough for that right now, and maybe never will be. But I’d really like to learn how to create a shop someday, if just for giggles.

Well anyway, I found out, that Storenvy has a counterpart called Tictail. They basically offer the same services for the same fees, with small differences of course. Are those differences relevant to me? Not really, at least not at this point. So to me, it’s only a matter of which one of those offers more for my money, a.k.a. the 10% sales commission. Storenvy has a wider audience than Tictail, which means more exposure. Also, customers would want to buy from a platform they know and trust already. They both support PayPal, which is very important to me, as it’s been bothering me that Etsy accepts PayPal for MY payments to THEM, but when THEY pay ME, it goes directly on to my bank account, and I have a hard time distinguishing my profits from my grocery money.

Let’s boil it down. Etsy keeps eating my funds, and thus I want to leave them. The best alternative would seem to be Storenvy. I’d have to raise my prices a bit, but not enough for my items to become too expensive to sell. So yeah, I’m probably gonna move to Storenvy over the next four months, and see how that goes. At least I can’t lose money there while not selling anything, which is the biggest plus for me right now.

Also a bit on topic: I’ll be changing my Instagram account @colorpieces as soon as I have more time. Right now, it only includes my Etsy listings, but I would like for it to become a creative sales account. This means, that I’ll include listings as usual, but also other stuff I have up for sale, like for example my patterns and designs on sites like Redbubble and Society6. I’m also thinking about continuing with my adoptables on DA, although it was my plan to close down that account. I don’t know about that one yet, but if I continue, I would like to include my adoptables on Instagram. Ghosty might also move there, as I have four accounts right now, and Instagram seems to freak out after three. I haven’t updated Ghosty in a few weeks, which I’m sorry for, but I simply don’t have the time to do everything I planned, and as he’s not a popular (dead) guy, he’s not on the top of my list right now.

I’m sorry for this long post, but deciding what to do after Etsy felt easier to me, having my thoughts black on white. I’m aware that probably no one is gonna read this anyway, as I can see in my Google Analytics, that my anime reviews seem to drag more visitors on here than my personal life does, which is understandable, knowing that I’m quite the boring shit. But no worries, I’ll keep writing reviews… and boring shit like this post 😀