What’s My Focus Now? 11/7 – 11/13: Coraline, a G-Dragon of a Butler

Since I love Halloween so much, I’ve been reluctant to let it go.  So this week, I took a look at a few things that seem cute on the surface, but have a hidden dark side.  Although, to be fair, that’s the kind of thing I enjoy no matter the holiday.  And then, just to be random, I threw in some G-Dragon.  My view is that it’s always a good time for G-Dragon.  So read on, enjoy, and be sure to leave your own comments and thoughts.

1.  Black Butler v. 1

Ages ago, I heard people talking about Black Butler.  Lots of hype, lots of praise, making it sound like the next big thing.  I was skeptical, but very curious, and so I decided to do a bit of research.  I looked around online, found a few pictures, and immediately fell in love with Ciel’s character design.  It really stood out as to me, seemed like something I would love to cosplay.  But that was as far as I went with it.  I bought up the manga when it came out, but I never got around to reading it.  I made sure to note when Funimation started streaming the anime, but I never sat down and watched any.  I have no idea what I was waiting for, but tonight I decided to change that.

Can I just say I loved it, and end there?  No?  Fine, I’ll provide some details.  First in my mind is the art, since that’s what grabbed me from the beginning.  It’s gorgeous, even the cute chibi forms.  The outfits look so detailed, but they’re always drawn so well.  Faces, proportions…it all flows together really well.  And then there’s the story.  This manga is full of interesting characters, with so many secrets hinted at, so many dark twists, and scenes to make you giggle out loud mixed in for good measure.  It’s a perfect combination for me, the dark and light, I didn’t put it down once I started.

Check it out.  Yes, it’s about a butler.  Yeah, it might seem a little girly at time.  Even if you don’t think it’s your style, you need to give it a read.  There’s something so appealing about this, it’s easy to see why it’s had such a huge impact in the manga and anime world.  This volume tells 3 stories over 4 volumes, and each one has a different feel, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one to enjoy.  Ciel may be addicted to Sebastian’s sweets, but this manga series is my new addiction.

2.  Coraline

I’m a pretty big Neil Gaiman fan.  Having waited in line 6 hours to meet him, I think I’ve earned the right to say that.  So it was guaranteed I would be watching Coraline at some point.  I did so recently, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Coraline began life as a dark bedtime story, and it stays true to those roots.  It definitely has it’s dark side, and there’s a very dreamy fairytale feel to the entire movie.  While on the surface it’s a movie for children, there’s a lot here that is aimed straight at adults.

Coraline is a stop-motion film, and it’s a style that is used to great effect.  Something about it really draws you in to the story, helping sell you on the fantastical concept.  The voice cast does a wonderful job, which is always a pleasant surprise when big names are a part of the cast.  Teri Hatcher in particular does much better than I expected, managing to pull off loving and threatening believably.  The entire movie is a treat, and one I recommend you check out the first chance you get.

3.  G-Dragon – Gmarket Party!

In America, popular music being used in commercials is pretty common.  Then there are the jingles, short tunes written specifically for a company to help the brand stay in your mind.  Gmarket Party! is something a bit different.  This is a entire song, complete with music video, written just for a company, to be used in commercials.  Trust me, this is the catchiest commercial jingle you’ve ever heard.  I personally no nothing about Gmarket, but I’ve had their name stuck in my head for days.

The song is pretty typical G-Dragon.  Very catchy, great beat, random English words to sing along with.  The music video fits G-Dragon’s normal style as well, with plenty of crazy outfits and dance moves to play up his attitude.  Along the way, graphics for Gmarket are thrown in, making the video feel like some kind of crazy interactive shopping experience.  This is really driven home with the scenes of a girl changing into different outfits quickly, allowing viewers to see just what kind of fashion Gmarket can provide.  I enjoy it, and I think you should all give it a listen, especially if you’re in to catchy pop music.

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