Thirteen Reasons Why – Netflix

I recently finished watching the programme Thirteen Reasons Why. I will discuss why I loved this show so much, including personal opinions and experiences.

Because I have seen the whole programme, there will be SPOILERS. There will also be trigger subjects such as bullying, anxiety, rape and suicide.

I would also like to mention that I do have wonderful people around me who are supportive, understand my fears and are patient with me, an amazing fiancé who I love more than anything and a beautiful and special dog who I love so much. Thank you ❤

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Hannah’s relationship with friendship was realistic to my truth.

In life I am bombarded with ideas that friendship should last forever. That you should have the same friends through life and build on that. My sister has had the same few friends since senior school. But that’s just not how life happened for me. And because of that I have always felt weird, strange, that I am wrong. But for Hannah she had a similar relationship with friendship. Very close friends, extremely close, and then gone, and not even just gone, now hurtful to her.

People always ask questions, expecting you to know the answer.

This is a huge trigger for me. When people think something is wrong, they will just ask questions, and when you question this they will say something like “I can’t help unless I know.” Why do people need to know exactly? For their own selfish reasons? Don’t they know that just being with you, just sitting in your company, is more helpful that knowing the exact specific reason to why you are upset in that moment? When people bombard me with questions my brain explodes and I get so frustrated I lash out. Which then makes people think even worse of me.

In the programme I really related to when Hannah pushed Clay away and yet wanted him to stay. Many times in my life because of fatigue or other reasons I have shouted at people, pushed them away, but all I want is for them to stay. Just sit, wait until the frustration fades. But that push hurts people, and it is hard to see past your own pain and lack of understanding. I was always left alone, or that just instigated a huge argument. Many times people said “not this again” like I was crazy. Sometimes, like Hannah, you can push people away even though nothing bad is happening. All the things which have effected you so far appear in your mind and crush you.

Tv programmes always cover up the harsh reality of these subjects.

The pure visual prowess of this programme struck me to tears many times. I welcomed finally seeing the truth on screen. It is miserable. It is scary. It is lonely. It is painful. It is cringe worthy. It is sickening. And every time a programme brushes over these realities, it hurts me. It is like they are the same as those people who belittle your pain. That it isn’t that bad. But it is. The scene in episode 12.. I think I will see her dead eyes in my head forever. But that is the truth! That is how it feels.. that is what is happening day in day out. Now I saw somewhere that some people have had issues with the more visual scenes, because it is triggering. I understand triggering, of course I experience it myself. But there are warnings at the start of the episodes and if we plaster over everything like most things do, no one will ever see, feel, the truth of the matter. It helped me to see these scenes. It is far more dangerous to hide this truth.

Unless you fit into the cookie cutter shape you’re expected to be, life is hard.

Ok so I was not popular at school. I love video games and anime, and that made me an outcast. There was a small group of guys who liked Pokémon, but guys don’t understand girls at that age especially ones who have things in common with them. I have known guys over the years who have thought of themselves as social outcasts, but have had a small group of friends who had things in common with them. They would hang out in the IT room at lunch and play games, they would go around each others house to play on the video game console they don’t have themselves at home. Even growing up, these guys never truly understood when I tried to explain to them my absolute loneliness at school. My hobbies and likes were never understood at home either. I’m a girl, why do I like all that stuff? My sister grew out of it, why won’t I? Growing up taught me one thing, to value my own company. I didn’t know that later in life I would lose even that.

People always belittle what is upsetting you.

I have huge social anxiety, and because of this I find it hard to express my feelings. I am fearful of phone calls. Some people do not understand this. They don’t understand why you can’t just pick up a phone and call them. They don’t understand why you are so blank that you don’t even have an opinion anymore, because they drove you down with their mocking of your pain. Is it so hard to *try* and understand? Or even if you can’t understand, to just listen?

They don’t even try to understand your hobbies.

As I grew up I remember closing myself up more and more. Trying to get the TV room when no one was around. I would wear my headphones even in my own room so no one would hear my music. If I was playing a game downstairs and people were in the next room I would have a lump in my throat, hoping they wouldn’t walk in. I felt like my hobbies became ammo, to hurt me with.

In Thirteen Reasons Why Hannah’s hobbies became hurtful for her. She had exactly this scenario. When she opened up and showed someone her life, her poem, they betrayed her, used it as personal gain for themselves and screw anyone else’s feelings or wants. She did not want it to be published, but no one understands when you *don’t* want to display something.

After fighting for a while you just give up [Social Anxiety]

People who have never experienced it will never truly know. To be afraid to pick up a phone. To be afraid to hang out because “hanging out” is so.. vague.. what will happen? Who will be there? What if I don’t know what to say, what if it is awkward, what if I become fatigued and need to leave early but can’t? And with every “what if” your throat is tightening and a golf ball is rising up from your chest to your mouth. You try to explain, but no one understands so you just stop. You stop calling. You stop meeting up with people. You stop talking. You basically stop existing. I certainly lost who I was along the way. Every time you had an opinion and someone slapped you down. Every time you showed someone something with excitement and they didn’t care. You stop. Stop having an opinion. Stop sharing things with people. You stop being excited. You stop feeling. Hurting people is so devastating to you that you stop talking. The fight in you is just gone.

I feel like women are just looked down on in society.

As I was walking home from school once a guy riding in the back of the school bus spat in my face. I don’t think he knew me, I think it was purely because I was a girl. If you are proud of your looks, of yourself then you are a slut, too outspoken. People like it if you are constantly questioning yourself. If you did something you are proud of, you can’t say so, it’s deemed unsightly. You must point out mistakes and say what you will do better. And if you feel like you are nothing, people want you to stay that way.

Purely because you are a woman, people will assume certain things. For Hannah this was the picture of her on the slide. For me this was about ownership. He owned her. No one looked at the picture and thought Justin was a horrible pervert, no they looked at Hannah and thought what a slut. That immediate plane of thought is sexism out in force today. No one even thought to ask Hannah the truth. Absolutely everyone assumed, even the people closest to her.

Now I am human, so of course I am guilty of some of the things I mention here.

Guilty of not listening. Not sticking around. But when you realise, when you see.. how things effect others.. if is easier to see when you should stay.. what you can do to help.

Thirteen Reasons Why shows you just how serious these things are. Just how much they effect you, how hard they hit. It doesn’t trivialise anything. It shows you how you could help in a situation.

I honestly haven’t been struck by a series like this in a long time. Even the pacing, how at the start you are listening along with Clay to the tapes, but as time goes on, to show his increasing anger and upset you start hearing the story after he has listened to the tape, to show what he is doing about it alongside hearing the story from Hannah.

It wasn’t just Hannah’s story.

Everyone involved was effected. It was striking to see how being faced with the truth effected people. So many people live their lives and are never faced with the truth because the people who are hurt just stay quiet. But not this time. The open ended ending.

Everyone facing their own truths.. and futures.

 

Finally Fantasy XV..

I am writing this at 7:45am.. Today is upon us,  finally the game I’ve waited for since 2006 will be delivered to my door. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this. I’ve been coaching myself to be ready for the fact that I may not be able to play it when it is finally here, I am working today and much of the week, and work vastly effects my energy levels. Possibly because of this I feel like the excitement hasn’t quite crept to the surface yet… but I’m sure it will.

I remember seeing the very first trailer when it was announced in 2006. Hailed as a darker installment in the final Fantasy series, and headed up by the development team behind kingdom Hearts, one of my favourite game series of all time, I was buzzing. And the trailer had the Kingdom Hearts Mark all over it. Amazing music written by one of my idols Yoko Shimomura,  it was amazing and it sparked something inside of me. Director Hajime Tabata has worked on games such as Crisis Core Final Fantasy which I loved. Producer Shinji Hashimoto is the creator of Kingdom Hearts I am in awe of this. Writer Kazushige Nojima has written for many final Fantasy series including 7, 8, 10, Crisis Core and Kingdom Hearts. He also wrote the lyrics for Suteki Da Ne which is one of my favourite songs. Music written by Yoko Shimomura as I mentioned a real true hero of mine and character designs by Tetsuya Nomura. A real dream team for me. 

But years went by and nothing, no info no mentions no nothing. After years passed I began to come to terms with the fact that this game may never see the Light of Day. 

So along comes e3 2013 and I’m looking forward to seeing new information on the new consoles and some games as well. I was not prepared for What Hit me straight in the heart that year. Out of nowhere there was a trailer for final Fantasy versus XIII.. it was alive! And not only that they were giving it its own proper number. I couldn’t believe it I was astounded. What with the announcement of another game I thought would never come to pass, Kingdom Hearts III, I cried at e3 that year, tears were shed. 

I’ve changed a whole lot in 10 years. Heck I went back to college, went to uni, rented my first place and now am the proud owner of my own home. I now have the family I always longed for, a loving fiancee and dog. I have finally been recognised by doctors and am getting the help I need. I am a very different person from the girl I remember drawing Noctis all those years ago.

And now this morning I’ve just woken up to an email from Square Enix store telling me that this game is on its way to my house right now. Is being a journey. I can’t really get a reading on how I feel right now but I just can’t tell how I’m going to feel when that box lands into my hands. Actually I’m tearing up just talking about it..! 

Scratch that disc!  – live edition – Final Fantasy XV live concert from Abbey Road 

Scratch that disc!  – live edition – Final Fantasy XV live concert from Abbey Road 

Last night on the way home from work I eagerly anticipated this impromptu concert (I only found out about it that morning). 

My history with Final Fantasy XV is a long and emotional one. At one point I had come to bitter terms with the fact that it might not even come into existence. I always anticipated this more than others because it’s in the hands of the co creator of the Kingdom Hearts series, being directed by the director of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and scored by the incredible Yoko Shimomura. The E3 where they re-announced it, at the end of the trailer the versus 13 logo shattered to reveal the XV symbol, I literally cried. I cried at that E3. To see it here in front of my eyes, growing, moulding, twisting like a baby inside an egg waiting to hatch, is truly a pleasure. 

I also have massive admiration, respect and love for the wonderful Yoko Shimomura. I have grown up with her music through the inspirational Kingdom Hearts soundtrack. Her music fed my emotions, brought tears to my eyes, grew determination I never knew I had. She is a huge idol of mine, a lady who helped shape my life. 

So the concert! It was awesome, although I found myself wishing I had a better speaker set up! The first ever performance of Noctis theme, and of course Somnus, brought a tear to my eye. I used to play in am Orchestra, so when they show the close ups of the musicians playing I know their experience of the music is far more intense and vivid than ours. Playing in an orchestra is like being surrounded by the music, by the raw emotions. I try and imagine what it would be like if I was there next to them, the music swirling around me. 

I hope more events like this happen! 

The Seventh Axis: Hatsune Miku Project Diva X -anticipation- 

The Seventh Axis: Hatsune Miku Project Diva X -anticipation- 

I am *so* looking forward to this!! I love vocaloid, how they can sing exactly how you feel, no holding back, straight to the core. Whether you’re skipping with joy or crushed on the floor, a vocaloid will be there for you. 

I struggle with my thoughts a lot. I over think things, worry, panic, stress.. When I’m playing a Project Diva game, I am running on my instincts, pure reactions. It’s one of the rare times I feel free from the constraints of my mind. 

So without further delay I am going to dive into the game ~ I shall return when I have enjoyed a session or ten! 
Now playing : Hitoshi Sakimoto – Desperate Fight (from Valkyria Chronicles) 

Food stuffs – Bulldog Tonkatsu Sauce

Food stuffs – Bulldog Tonkatsu Sauce

Recently I saw a cooking video where someone mentioned Bulldog Tonkatsu sauce. Of course because it was something new, I’d never tried it or heard of it before I instantly wanted it! 

Literally days later we visited my home town for our anniversary (2 years yay ❤ xx)  and they had a small but ample Oriental food shop opening up and what did I find, Tonkatsu sauce. Insta-buy! 

It was fairly accurate to describe it as a mix of Worcester and Brown sauce, but there is a twang I can’t describe, and it’s delicious. 

I haven’t had much opportunity to utilise the sauce as of yet, but it’s tasty on the side or top of a complimentary dish. I even made pasta with a tomato sauce and parsley base, added Tonkatsu to the sauce mix which contained onions, capers, sugar and a splash of mirin and soy. Once the pasta was cooked I mixed it in with the sauce. Sounds weird right? Somehow it was nice. The salty capers were lovely little gems bursting with flavour amongst the savory, sweet and salty sauce mix. I would definitely make it again. 

I am looking forward to using Tonkatsu sauce in more creations, looks like it will become a staple in our kitchen. Sometime I would love to try making my own! 

Now playing: Skylanders Giants soundtrack – Lorne Balfe 

Soapbox Streaming Vol 1: BoJack’s Back!

Oh first post first post! Now that we’ve jumped on that elephant and ridden it around the room, lets head on in!

Soapbox Streaming Vol 1: BoJack’s Back!!

Topic: BoJack Horseman Series 3     Where: Netflix

At the time of writing this we’re jumping in at season 3. I’d seen both previous series (and the Xmas special) as and when they had emerged onto streaming giant Netflix. I remember thinking the style looked cool, plus it had awesome comedian Will Arnett at the helm.

So to start off, the character designs are brilliant, from their names to their quirky behaviors. For once we are not seeing cutsey, over the top fluffy bunny wiggly smiggly.. you get the picture. I mean, take Princess Carolyn. She looks horrifying! Just like every Persian cat in existence, and I should know I had a half Persian. She was a cruel mistress. And Officer Meow Meow Fuzzy Face.. Hoo boy, that name. I used to live next door to a German Shepherd who had been named “Cheeser” by the human children he lived with. It’s a breath of fresh air, it’s real.

When I’m watching BoJack, I feel like I’m an onion, peeling back the layers of my own self. I feel I can relate to each character in different ways. BoJack is our self hate, our want to explode, our destructive nature personified. He will go out of his way to do something knowing full well it is the wrong thing. But BoJack believes that is “how he is” so he surrenders to this perception of himself. He is our inner craving to blow off the world and not care about anything else or the consequences of our actions. Even if you upset everyone in the world, it will never be your fault. I have definitely spent some of my days channeling BoJack.

Diane is everyone’s moral voice, a code we wish we could live by, which sometimes contradicts itself but is rooted in well-being. She indulges in her share of pessimism which is why her and BoJack gravitate towards each other, both of their self loathing manifests itself as hatred towards others.She relates to my want to reach certain places and goals, but can never quite get there.

Mr Peanutbutter is our hopeless optimism. He says yes to everything, just agrees because he gets excited at the idea, even if he doesn’t fully comprehend what the idea is! I adore his character, probably because I adore dogs! His character must have been written by a dog lover, it’s so well done. He also channels our inner hatred for tennis, why does no one catch the ball?

Princess Carolyn is every strong woman out to prove herself, trying to avoid the struggles of being a female in the workplace. She also highlights the issues within relationships, friends or otherwise. We have all had those one-sided relationships and you think you can have a professional relationship or a friendships afterwards but you just end up doing everything for them and hating yourself. You know you should buck up and leave them to it but you just cant put yourself first. You need them. But when you cut them lose its great. You realise you can control things, if you want to turn the car around and make that risotto you can. If you want to.

And of course the world is fantastic. It is so rich in detail, from nostalgia to new ideas. It fits the characters perfectly. Because so many real life issues are discussed in the ongoing story it almost creates our world within theirs.

The other huge factor is the writing. Which is great. Its dry, witty, comedic, connects to all of us, and tackles real events and messages but not in an in your face or cringey kind of way. It’s done very cleverly. This show is proof that there is life beyond the “main character romance”. If the audience connects with the characters, then they become invested in what happens to them.. life doesn’t end when a relationship does. It picks up and carries on, and we all do alongside BoJack Horseman.

All in all, I love this one. I wait with bated breath for the next installment.

Currently listening to: Bastille – Fake it