tosh: toe-shh (n. adj. adv. v.) Any positive definition imaginable.

Monthly Archives: July 2012

Just trace it.

In honor of our Art Show, this edition of the Otaku Files is all about drawing. As you might know, the theme for our art show is “Things you are obsessed with.” And obviously, given my self-proclaimed title as an otaku, I have several obsessions. The thing I’m obsessed with right now is a show called You and Me, or some people might know it as Kimi to Boku.

As a fellow otaku, I find it easy to relate to the glimpses of Yuki Asaba’s life shown in “You and Me.”

I mean, I’ve watched two seasons since Friday.  And all but one episode of season 2 within the last two days. People have told me they finished a 24 episode series in a shorter time than that, but for me that is pretty fast.

So yesterday,  I wanted to try drawing some pictures from the show. The drawings are simple, and the characters are fun. One small problem: I have a tendency to get frustrated with my artwork. Drawing free-hand takes me forever, and I am rarely happy with the end result. So, I relied on the same trick of the trade I’ve been using for years: tracing.

A lot of people disapprove of tracing. I do too, when people trace something and then try and take credit for that as if they designed it themselves. But when you’re just drawing something for fun, why not? Not everyone who has passion for something has the talent for it. As for myself, and probably a lot of otakus, I love manga and anime with my whole heart, and I spend hours enjoying it. But, I can’t just pick up my pen and draw something amazing. I would be lucky to pick up a pen and draw something mediocre.

People could say, “So why don’t you practice?” It’s simple. I’ve accepted (reluctantly, it’s a long process) that I’m not going to be a professional mangaka (a manga creator). Of course, I could steal a notebook and refuse to give it back to the talented artist I’ve been spying on until he draws my story (see Bakuman, chapter 1).

Yep, it works out just like that.

Or, I could not pursue an insanely ambitious career. Yeah, I think I’ll go with that option.

But I still think drawing is fun. Here’s what I drew traced (admit it like a man!) yesterday.

First off, the sketches:

Passive older twin Yuta Asaba; flowery, caring Shun Matsuoka; and serious, studious Kaname Tsukahara.

Noisy newcomer Chizuru Tachibana and younger, lazy twin Yuki Asaba.

All of those hands were hard to draw. The pictures had words covering them up, so I had to draw them myself.

These are from that series You and Me. I like to trace the outlines and then make photocopies so that when I color it, the pencil lines don’t smear. Plus, if I mess up on the coloring,  I can just make a new blank copy.

Now here’s the fun part, the drawings in color!

His hair is not that red. And, their tie colors don’t even match! But oh well.

I think I did the best on Yuta. Yuki’s not terrible either, if you ignore his right arm.

I had so much fun doing these, and to me, that’s the point. Since I thought it was pretty hard work just to trace and color these, I have such great respect for mangaka, who literally devote their lives to their art. Thank you for your hard work!

– K-Tosh


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! 

It’s time for the First Art JPT….International Art First JPT Show….THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL JPT ART SHOW!

What does that mean? It means that all week long, in honor of Neville Longbottom’s and Harry Potter’s birthdays (7/30 and 7/31, respectively), we’ll be showcasing art, with a theme of “Things you are obsessed with.” The three of us will be making our own art, and for anyone who happens to read this, please send us your art, and we’ll be more than happy to show it! And by the way, there are many forms of art, including but not limited to drawing, painting, photography, cooking (yum), music, macrame, stamps, pottery, crochet…well, you get the idea. 

So stay tuned all week long (and after, tee hee). Send us pictures of your art at Otherwise, this will be really embarrassing. =]

Hello there, J. Coco here with another one of Coldplay’s best!

Ok, so in my last post I mentioned that Fix You would be next on my list of amazing Coldplay songs to discuss. Basically if you’ve heard of Coldplay, you’ve heard of one of their most popular songs, Fix You. And if you haven’t heard of either of them you have been missing out on one of the best bands on the earth and one of the most beautiful songs ever written. But no worries! It’s never too late to enjoy their work:

I have never heard more emotion in a song in my life. Something in the lyrics just reaches into your heart and soul and splits open all your feelings. Alright, alright, I’ll cut the drama but I really love this song! Here are some of my favorite lyrics:

And the tears come streaming down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

When you love someone but it goes to waste

Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you

The other day I learned something about this song that absolutely shocked me: It’s written for Gwyneth Paltrow. If there are any hardcore Coldplay fans are reading this, I’m sorry! I’m a new-er Coldplay fan and I had no idea that she and Chris Martin (the lead singer) were married! I always thought Chris was younger than he actually is and that Gwyneth was older that she actually is but I was way off! Shame on me. I really want to thank her for inspiring this song.

They met backstage at one of Coldplay’s concerts. Only a few weeks before, Gwyneth’s father (Bruce Paltrow) passed away. Gwyneth was obviously upset and one day she cried into Chris’ arms. When Chris asked what he could do, she said “fix me”. And thus came the birth of one of the most beautiful love songs, Fix You.

They have been married for about ten years and they have two children: Apple (8) and Moses (6). Look at the happy family!

I know, it’s old and not a wonderful picture but they don’t go out in the eye of the public much.

Fix You has definitely altered my views on good music.

Please share with me your favorite Coldplay song(s)!

– J. Coco

I’ve been noticing a lot of music videos starring the Harry Potter actors lately, so I thought I would share some of them with you.

I know I’ve already posted this first one on the blog, but here it is again.  This is Rupert Grint in Ed Sheeran’s Lego House:

Rupert Grint played Ronald Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise.  In the music video, he plays some sort of Ed Sheeran lookalike/stalker.  I actually liked the video.  I am a little bit of an Ed Sheeran fan, and I really liked the concept of the video.  The stalker twist is pretty amusing, not to mention the comments from our beloved Potterhead:

“This video is the period of time when Ron leaves Harry and Hermione in the 7th book. 0_0”  and “Guys, enough with the Harry Potter jokes now, I’m Sirius.”

This next one is called Out of the Game by Rufus Wainwright starring Helena Bonham Carter:

In this video, Helena (a.k.a. Bellatrix Lestrange) plays an uptight librarian slowly losing her mind.  I loved this video.  The song is great and, as usual, Helena is AMAZING.  I’m a huge fan of her’s; she’s such a versatile actress and this video is right up her alley.

The following video is Matthew Lewis in the Filth music video by Band of Buriers.  Watch with caution, it gets kind of weird near the end:

Now this one is a bit more obscure.  Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) shares the screen with Lily Loveless, commonly known for her role as Naomi Campbell on Skins.  The two are portrayed as a couple who spend a lot of the video fighting, while at the same time, they are passing around this bone wrapped in a shirt.  In the beginning of the video, Lily is drawing an arm, so it’s safe to assume that the bone came from someone’s arm.  The bone could represent a past lover, child, or someone else that Lily may have lost in the past.  Matt gets rid of the bone, which leaves Lily in a frenzy.  In the end, he cuts off his own arm and gives her a new bone.  The bone seems to represent Lily’s inability to let go of the past, which kills her present relationships.  Or maybe it’s just a creepy thing they like to have in their house…?

Here’s a Florence + The Machine song called Never Let Me Go.  This video stars Jamie Campbell Bower, who played Gellert Grindelwald.

This next one is called Say You Don’t Want It  by One Night Only and features Emma Watson (Hermione Granger):

This one was personally my least favorite, just because the song gets on my nerves.  But Emma looks good and the puppies are adorable.

This one is In Demand  by Texas and it’s somewhat older than the other videos.  Basically, the only reason I like this one is because Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) is in it, and Alan Rickman is the definition of talent.

10 points to Slytherin?

I saved the best for last.  This one my absolute favorite; I think its kind of hilarious.  It’s called Beginners and it’s by Snow Club.  It features the one and only Daniel  Radcliffe (a.k.a. DanRad, D-Rad, or Harry Potter):

Gotta love that Hawaiian shirt.  Now we just need one from Tom Felton!


Hi everyone, Stosh here.  I’ve decided to expand upon my earlier post about my new-found love for waffles because of Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope.  I’m starting this new segment – The Weekly Waffle – to document my waffle-making journey.  This week, I decided to try my hand at the ever popular blueberry waffle:


(There is also a very unflattering picture of me devouring the waffle, but I decided to leave that one out of the montage.)  For the recipe, I used the same ingredients as last time – 365 brand Whole Wheat Organic Pancake/Waffle Mix, organic milk, Smart Balance oil, eggs, and organic brown sugar.  But this time I added some blueberries to the batter.  After I took the waffle out of the waffle iron, I topped it with powdered sugar, fresh blueberries, blueberry syrup, and whipped cream.

The waffle was delicious, as waffles normally are.  The blueberries inside of the waffle were warm and gooey and tasted significantly sweeter than the blueberries sprinkled on top of the waffle.  However, I did like the combined taste of the sweet, baked blueberries and the more sour fresh blueberries.  The syrup was probably the most unhealthy ingredient.  It was extremely sweet, probably much sweeter than it needed to be.  If you’re someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I would suggest making your own blueberry compote according to your own personal preferences.

I did find a way to combat my whipped cream dilemma.  I absolutely love whipped cream, but I hate it when it melts on top of my waffle or pancake.  So this time, I only put whipped cream on the piece of the waffle that I intended to eat first (to avoid the melting).  Then, I added more whipped cream to the waffle as I continued to eat it.  Since it was fat free and low calorie whipped cream, I felt much less guilty about it.

The final verdict:

The waffle was good, very good.  But I still prefer the taste of the chocolate chip waffle I had last week.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every last bite and I do recommend making it, especially if you are a fruit person.  I guess I’m just more of a chocolate girl:)

If anyone has a healthier recipe I could try out, or just another recipe you feel the need to share with a fellow waffle lover, I would love to hear it!  It doesn’t have to be a blueberry waffle; I just need to find a way to get rid of some of the extra calories in my recipe.

For some waffle flavors, healthy is really difficult to do.  Speaking of unhealthy waffle varieties, be sure to check out next week’s flavor:  The S’mores Waffle

Greetings from Sevierville, Tennessee!

So my family and I drove six hours to Tennessee for a family reunion and on the way down, I had an epiphany. It was about the band Coldplay (which is definitely now my favorite band). For a few weeks I’ve been thinking about posting on this blog about the band or a list of my favorite songs. I soon discovered that it was way too hard to pick considering everything they write is pure gold and absolutely beautiful. But as it turns out, everyday that I listen to their music, I have a new favorite song. So while I was sitting is the car listening to my iPod looking out at the never changing views of trees, rocks, and hills, I picked my new favorite song as A Rush of Blood to the Head.

It’s a slower, more mellow song that has tangible emotion. That’s one of the greatest things I love about Coldplay. They make music with great lyrics and real, relate-able feelings. A Rush of Blood to the Head is about a guy who wants to buy a building and just torch it. It’s retribution for what has happened in the building and it could definitely be a metaphor for anything in life. He is basically saying “screw the world, I’ve made mistakes and life stinks sometimes and this is how I’m going to fix them.” Ultimately, he blames his actions on “a rush of blood to the head.” It sounds a little harsh and kind of immature but with the instruments, it sounds so sad and extremely beautiful. Seriously, give it a listen.

Some of my favorite lyrics are the following:

Oh I’m gonna buy this place and start a fire
Stand here until I fill all your hearts desire
Because I’m gonna buy this place and see it burn
And do back the things it did to you in return

You said I’m gonna buy a gun and start a war
If you can tell me something worth fighting for
Oh and I’m gonna buy this place is what I said
Blame it upon a rush of blood to the head

I hope you enjoyed the song, and if you didn’t, listen to it again. I promise, the more you listen to Coldplay, the better they seem. Stay tuned because I might post about another of my favorites, Fix You, soon. Feel free to leave a reply!

Oh and by the way, while I’ve been here in Tennessee, I’ve noticed that advertisements use the word “Touch” instead of “Call.” For instance, an ad will say “Touch 555-5555 for information”. Very interesting.

– J. Coco

Seeing this commercial on tv the other day got me thinking:

I love it when people do something like this. They put some thought into what song to choose for that PSA.  It’s said that John Mayer, the singer of “Say,” which you hear in the background, suffers from mental illness (specifically, anxiety) himself, and I don’t see any reason not to believe that because I can hear it in his lyrics.  John Mayer’s music was a part of getting me through a rough time myself.

People can make fun of what Mr. Mayer says all they want, but his song “Clarity” from the aptly-named album Heavier Things has special meaning to me.  The overall theme of the song is that sometimes, you have these moments of supreme clarity, an appreciation and understanding of everything around you.  These are the best moments, but you are afraid of worrying them away by fretting over what could, and eventually will, go wrong.  I could relate to this song because I had felt those moments when all of my racing thoughts made perfect sense, and I was worrying them away.  The way he managed to put something I was feeling into words so perfectly must be something others get out of the blues too.

To me, the blues, which are technically sad, sound positive.  The subject material can be so heavy, overwhelming, and deep, but I’m bobbing my head along to the beat and I feel like dancing.  Getting out those feelings can be empowering, allowing the singer to just move on, and be at peace with whatever happened to make him or her feel that way.  They can give the listener a feeling that he or she isn’t the only one dealing with something painful, and that things can be better.

I have trouble defining it when people ask me what kind of music is my favorite. I usually go with “rock” or “alternative” or something along those lines, but realistically, I think it’s the blues.  The raw emotion, the passion, the way you can feel all that in a blues song moves me in a way I just can’t understand.  The blues are always evolving.  Many times you don’t even realize you’re listening to it. Why is that?

And I will pay no mind, worry ’bout no rainy weather…

And I will waste no time remaining in our life together.

– John Mayer, “Clarity”

– K-Tosh