Crazy Sunshine http://www.crazysunshine.com Artwork & Comics by Jkun Thu, 12 Mar 2015 12:58:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Next Big Thinghttp://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/03/the-next-big-thing/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/03/the-next-big-thing/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 02:01:24 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5078 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and Spring is just around the corner. With a little over four months until my work contract ends, I have to get my butt into gear and make some big changes with my life.

"I got a little fat!"

Speaking of big, all the studying, drawing, gaming and hibernating I did over winter has inflated my belly to dangerous proportions. Not even the fabled Japanese Diet will help me this time, so I’m going to commit to eating less and exercising more now that I can finally go outside without wading through a sea of waist-high white fluff!

I dug up an old blog entry containing loads of comments from readers with tips and tricks to get back into shape, so I will be using those as a guideline again. Only this time, I want to blog about it once or twice a week, to keep my spirits up and actually track my progress for once, instead of rebounding after a month.

Firstly, here’s my work & gym schedule:

  • Work Days: Mon – Fri (5x a week, 7:45am-4:30pm)
  • Gym Days: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat (5x a week, closed Wednesday & Sunday)

My gym is located two towns over, and takes 30 minutes by car to get there. I’ll try to walk to and from work (40 mins) and during lunch break (10 min) every day in addition to going to the gym, where I will focus mainly on strength training with 10 mins of warm-up cardio after the tediously boring 30 minute drive.

In short:

  • Walking: 1 hour (spread throughout the day)
  • Strength training: 1 hour (evenings)
  • Driving: 1 hour (round trip)

Because I study Japanese at work, this leaves me with around 5 hours of free time a night to work on art and get some gaming time in, too!

As for diet, well, that really depends on what is in stock and what isn’t. Japan is a seasonal country and not one for consistency. However, there are a couple of dietary rules I want like to stick to, perhaps writing them down here will help me remember them!

I would like to:

  • Dump convenience store food such as rice balls and packed lunches for supermarket-bought, low-fat yoghurt and vegetables.
  • Make my portions smaller, and spread them out throughout the day, instead of eating 2-3 giant meals, four hours apart.
  • Make and stick to a protein supplement schedule post-workout or before bed. The cheapest and most accessible protein for me is Savas.
  • Chew sugar free gum or drink green tea when feeling peckish.
  • Brush my teeth after dinner to avoid eating more. Apparently, my brother does this to trick his brain into thinking it’s almost bedtime.

I already make my own lunches and drink loads of green tea. Last Christmas, I received a brand new, heavy duty rice cooker from my girlfriend’s mum, allowing me to make up to 4 days of rice at once, which means for dinner all I would have to do is grab some fresh fish or chicken to go with it on the way home from the gym. I’ve discovered that trying to avoid rice in Japan is absolutely futile.

Phew! That’s all for now. Reading this entry over again made me realize just how simple it all sounds on paper, but I know it’ll be incredibly difficult to put into practice. Today is the Hinamatsuri festival and our school’s graduation ceremony, meaning there is a huge party tonight. From tomorrow onwards, I’ll start to put my fat loss plan into action, and write all about it here!

As always, any and all feedback is welcome. Wish me luck!

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JLPT: N2 Passed!http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/02/jlpt-n2-passed/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/02/jlpt-n2-passed/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 02:29:25 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5071 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Seven months since this blog entry, I have been studying every day in order to pass a gargantuan Japanese exam, all so I can find steady employment in Japan after my contract with JET ends in summer.

Today, I got the results:

After what felt like the hardest test I have ever taken, I somehow managed to scrape a pass at a measly 97/180, with listening being my strongest aspect and reading being my second strongest, thanks to making the shift from manga to light novels and anime to Japanese dramas. In the end, the passing grade is all that matters for employment, and N2 is undoubtedly preferred over N3 and N4 in Japan. However, I still feel my Japanese is extremely lacking, especially with grammar, keigo, and hand written kanji. In short, a pass is a pass, but I still want to get better.

Luckily, now that the formal test out of the way, I can start studying things I am actually interested in and will benefit me while working in Japan, such as graphic design terminology, game mechanic terms, and technical IT mumbo-jumbo instead of textbook journal entries about the environment and standard news reports about politics. I’m thrilled at finally being able to study stuff I take great interest in with no time limit looming over my head.

Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and has kept checking Crazy Sunshine throughout its hiatus so far. There’s still a fairly long path ahead of me as I try to find a job and a place to stay, but once all of that is done and dusted, I can finally get back to making some good old comics! The hardest part is most definitely over, bring it on!

Thanks for reading, if you want to keep up to date with all my recent artwork, why not drop into a stream sometimes? Or check out my Tumblr!

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One Month Down!http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/02/one-month-down/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/02/one-month-down/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 13:27:45 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5062 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> January is finally over yet February rears its ugly, freezing head!

So! What’s up? I’ve been tweaking and streamlining the Crazy Sunshine site over the weekend! Here’s what’s changed:

  • A new Streaming splash page! I have been using the new Picarto.TV site for artwork and recently started a Twitch account for gaming. Why not give them a follow?
  • Cleaned up a lot of useless html on the Gallery and Extras page by converting image borders and margins to CSS!
  • Deleted a lot of old Gallery artwork and added a bunch of new ones instead!
  • Previous Gallery artwork can still be seen on DeviantArt, which has also been cleaned up!
  • Deleted a lot of broken links on the About page.

I’ve also been playing a bunch of popular Japanese browser games like Kantai Collection (艦これ) and Touken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞), both of which are on the DMM.com site and are the perfect time wasters between classes and study lessons.

Kancolle

Both games play similarly. Send characters out on adventures, bring back materials, repair and/or build more characters, then rinse and repeat. Kancolle is based on girls that harness the spirits of old warships, and Touken Ranbu focuses on Japanese katanas which have taken the form of incredibly handsome men. The stronger your ship (or katana), the longer they can last without breaking or needing repairs. Sometimes you’ll come across rare characters that will join you on your adventures, or you can try your hand at making them yourself!

Kongou

Kantai Collection has become so popular that there is a huge waiting list to even apply. It’s even got its own anime series! The game is in Japanese only, but there is an English Wiki to help you get into it. Touken Ranbu is still quite new, but it’s rising in popularity among swooning Japanese girls!

Speaking of Japanese, not long until my test results! Even though I know I’ve failed, there’s still hope, right? R-right…?

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Onwards to 2015!http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/01/onwards-to-2015/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/01/onwards-to-2015/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 01:37:20 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5029 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

It’s a brand new year and I am totally psyched to get back into drawing more often. Naturally, my studies and work will still come first, but the good news is come summer time, these shouldn’t be a problem any longer! I will be leaving JET and Aomori in August and hopefully starting a new job teaching nearer Tokyo. This means no more dealing with snow for half of the year, and no more hour-long drives to meet up with my girlfriend as we plan to save up all our pennies and move into a new apartment together.

If all goes well and I manage to find a job and a new place to stay, I should have more than enough time to start working on Crazy Sunshine again and pump out these last two chapters of ORIGINS. I can’t wait! That’s the plan, but who know what’ll happen between then and now…

One way you can really help me out is by donating to Patreon if you haven’t already! I know I keep going on and on about it, but it really is an awesome system! As mentioned in a previous entry, donations are no longer on a fixed, monthly payment. Instead, you can pay whatever you like per project from as little as $1, with your donation going towards keeping the site running and the eventual return of the Crazy Sunshine comic.

What’s a project? Every 1-2 months I will start working on a set of illustrations or comics that you can help fund. if you want to take part, your pledge will net you some incredible rewards, like behind the scenes sketches and blog entries, access to weekly live art & gaming streams, Q&A streams, the chance to hit me up on Skype and even a personal commission! If you don’t like what you see, no worries! Maybe the next project will spark your interest.

I want to be able to finish each project within 1-2 months. There’s even one going on right now for fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion that is almost complete, it’s never too late to donate!

I will be announcing projects on here, Tumblr and Twitter, so keep checking back for more every month or two! Hopefully these little projects are enough to tie you over until I bring the Crazy Sunshine comic back. It’s great being able to draw something different for a change, and even greater knowing all my hard work is going towards keeping the site alive and kicking thanks to your generosity.

So yeah, that’s about it! Go, donate!

I should be getting my preliminary Japanese test results back at the end of January so stay turned for another update around then! I’m not thaaaat confident about passing, but that just means I’ll have to study even harder until the resit in summer!

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Happy Holidays!http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/12/happy-holidays/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/12/happy-holidays/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 14:56:15 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5022 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]>

Wow, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

First of all, Happy Holidays and a big thank you to everyone who has been frequenting my streams. I was trying out a lot of new techniques with this year’s Christmas image, and everyone’s input, advice and brainstorming really helped in making it look as good as it does!

Secondly, who is it? If you follow the webcomic, you should know one of the protags, Peppermint. Well, this isn’t her, this is her Mother! Merry Christmas, have a spoiler; she is still alive, kicking and just a little bit crazy!

Look forward to more Crazy Sunshine comics in the future once the hiatus is over – the ride is just getting started!

Here is a recap of what has been up:

★ I took the JLPT N2 test, and it was much more difficult than I thought! Results will be here in February, but I am not confident at all…!
★ Alice’s visit was amazing though. We almost died driving back and forth different places due to the weather, haha. Speaking of which…
★ It’s snowing hardcore now. Like, harder than hardcore. METALCORE. Every day is like battling Shiva on steroids.
★ I bought Xsplit! I am using it to stream games on Twitch and artwork on Picarto. Come along sometime and see, hear and feel my pain all at once!
★ My best friend ever Drobvirks drew some Crazy Sunshine fanart right here! You cna see her comic, Seed, here! Do it!

Thanks for a great 2014, here’s to 2015!

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It can’t get much worse, right?http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/12/it-cant-get-much-worse-right/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/12/it-cant-get-much-worse-right/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 09:50:24 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5004 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

My big Japanese test is this weekend, and I’ve been studying for it since summer. It’s kind of the reason I put Crazy Sunshine on hold! I’m not very confident that I’ll pass, but there’s always next summer if things don’t go so well!

Speaking of things not going so well, they really aren’t! Here’s a couple of awful things that have happened recently:

My poor car’s rusted front axle snapped in half in the middle of a busy intersection, but I managed to barely avoid a disastrous death by handbrake skidding into a nearby sidewalk. It took hours for the Japanese Automobile Federation to arrive at the scene and – naturally – the police also came to avert traffic away from the crash site. Well, I say crash, but I was told by the cops it was the neatest and most compact accident they had ever seen. Since no other drivers or objects were damaged in the process of skidding to an almost untimely death, I didn’t have face any charges, but the towing and repair bill made my wallet weep.

Winter is here. You know what that means by now. Snowstorms, hailstorms, and mountains of white, fluffy bullshit. I have turned into such a sloth that even getting up and going to work makes me want to just curl up in a ball and hibernate the moment I step outside. Despite my car being fixed and outfitted with winter tyres, it’s still making an awfully scary rattling noise near the front wheels! My gas stove is also on the brink, despite it just being fixed, and of course, who could forget the classic phrase “Sorry, I can’t come into work this morning, my shower is covered in ice” finally came into play for the first time this year.

Over the weekend, Rie and I put up the Christmas tree for my third Christmas in Japan and my last Christmas in Aomori. It wasn’t all tinsel and glitter though, as some sort of bug bite, dust allergy, or maybe even a Yuletide poison swept through the room, as we wound up with giant lumps all over our faces the next day. It turns out that after five years of living in this run-down shack of a house I have finally caught a rare skin disease that only affects either people living in run-down shacks, or goats. Great. I am on antibiotics and currently spring cleaning the entire house in the middle of Winter. My butt is frozen as I type this.

Leading us back to the test. It’s on Sunday. My incredibly close friend Alice is visiting Japan this week and wants to hang out this weekend. I can’t turn down the offer, especially since I have no idea when I will see her next! Awful timing, mixed with a face that looks like the backside of a baboon, and a car that is almost on its last legs, all while being covered in sixty eight blankets of snow.

Isn’t life just grand sometimes?

Thanks for reading!

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Long Lost Hypehttp://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/09/long-lost-hype/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/09/long-lost-hype/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:45:37 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=4990 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Remember two years ago, when the Wii U felt like an add-on to the Wii, and many gamers were confused by its existence? Moreover, remember when Bayonetta 2 was confirmed to be a Wii U exclusive? A lot of fans, including myself, got really pissy. A lot of us just wanted to play the sequel to a game that touched our hearts using the console it was released on. Reflecting back, it sure was an immature thing to rant about, given Platinum Games’ position. As always, before anyone could cool off and apologise, the joke that is gaming journalism swooped in and ratted out those who engaged in such comments, naming and shaming them all for Nintendo fans and “true” gamers to throw rocks at.

“Fucking Nintendo Fucking Wii U fucking everything up fuck. I want Bayonetta 2 on a real console!”

It’s actually quite hilarious how mad I was back then, and just goes to show what changes over the years. Personally, Nintendo’s Treehouse event at E3 2014 was a turning point in my life, that made me appreciate how great – and fun – their games can be. Their hardware on the other hand… Let’s just say I would be more invested in buying new products if they didn’t constantly update ‘em with better versions all the time.

Recently, I’ve been getting back into my Wii and DS by buying second hand Japanese games in order to improve my Japanese. maybe I’ll also grab a 3DS should the new Super Smash Bros be as good as everyone is anticipating!

Lastly, it goes without saying that now I have had time to appreciate the Wii U, I am stoked for Bayonetta 2. It’s looking a lot better than I expected it to be two years ago!

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New Project! Children of Adamhttp://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/09/new-project-children-of-adam/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/09/new-project-children-of-adam/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:18:54 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=4977 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]>
PosterMockup

Recently, the new Neon Genesis Evangelion remake movies appeared on Japanese TV, and I managed to catch a few. They made me want to go back and watch the original TV anime, one of the first anime I grew up with as a kid that really influenced my art style!

Despite the series being incredibly complex, convoluted and downright impossible to follow without a trip to Wikipedia, re-watching the series also rekindled the love I had for the robotic character designs, especially those deadly Angels. Before I knew it, I had to draw not some”thing”, but some”things”!

CHILDREN OF ADAM is going to be an illustrative collection of all 15 Angels from the original NGE TV Series in full colour, and will be featured in Crazy Sunshine’s gallery when finished!

If you want to see the project develop with loads of work-in-progress sketches, livestreams, or even live Skype sessions with me, why not donate to Patreon? A donation as little as $1 will get you access to the Patron-only Activity steam, donating more will get you, well, more goodies!

Let’s revisit Tokyo-3 once again, and explore every bone, mask, and AT Field of these notorious bad guys together! I hope you enjoy watching these works come together as much as I will enjoy creating them!

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A Whole New Worldhttp://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/08/a-whole-new-world/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/08/a-whole-new-world/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:31:29 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=4959 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]>

Final Fantasy XIV celebrated its one year anniversary last week! I’ve been playing the game since beta and loved every second of it. I even made a little blog to document my travels! Now that I think about it, I’ve been playing Massive Multiplayer Online games for a long time. Almost ten years now!

My first memory of adventuring with random strangers online was probably in Ragnarok Online. Man, life was so simple back then! Because Ragnarok was my first MMO, I played very casually. Yet somehow, I managed to get hooked on the grind. I would stay up for hours hunting down a single type of monster hoping they would drop a single type of card in order to make my Assassin’s gear stronger. It was almost an addiction, saying “the next one will be my last” or “the next will will drop for sure” over and over again. Little did I know, ten years later I still have the same mindset, only I’ve started to treat MMOs like games. Y’know, considering they are!

I learned this the hard way, as my addition continued all throughout university with Final Fantasy XI. I clocked over 600 days – almost 2 whole years of play time – over the course of eight years, which is not something I am proud of. Don’t worry, I managed to successfully graduate university with flying colours and land a job in Japan, so it didn’t eat away at my brain too much, but it did destroy my ability to socialise offline and didn’t exactly help with keeping my body healthy as I would binge until 4am for weeks on end.

I left FFXI last year to focus on Crazy Sunshine full time. I’m just surprised it took me 8 years to realize how much of my time could be spent not chasing down equipment for Puppetmaster and being creatively productive instead. Enter Final Fantasy XIV. You’re probably thinking; “Heh, this Jkun dude just never learns, does he?” Well luckily, I am a lot smarter than I was ten years ago. Unfortunately, a lot older too.

FFXIV was originally released in 2010 and after flopping miserably, was taken offline before being re-released in 2013 under the title “A Realm Reborn”. With a new development team and incredibly talented producer, the game was revamped and repacked as an MMO for every type of player – from casual to hardcore. I am somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. As a veteran from the hard-as-nails XI days, XIV seems a little too easy to me, but at the same time, with my job and other commitments, I can’t play as much as the hardcore crowd. Which in a sense, might be for the best!

Man, videogames are great, aren’t they? Thanks for reading!

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XXX of Wonderhttp://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/08/xxx-of-wonder/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2014/08/xxx-of-wonder/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:50:16 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=4946 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

I want to start using my blog to ramble again instead of just talking about site news, so here we go!

There’s a new Japanese group that formed recently called XXX of Wonder (オブ・ワンダー) and I’ve taken a huge liking to them. They are a Japanese pop/techno group consisting of five members, each from different backgrounds across many fields of creative art;

  • Nanba Shino, a singer who has released multiple mini albums and worked on projects with other famous artists like Hyadain.
  • Dr. Usui, a musician who worked on many CM arrangements and mostly know for his work on the Pretty Cure anime.
  • Fureneshi (Frenesi), a mysterious member who hides her face behind popular decorative her art and composed over 50 songs in just two years at age 20.
  • Kishida Meru (mellco), an exceptionally talented illustrator who has worked on games such as the Atelier series and So Ra No Wo To‘s character planning.
  • Julie Watai, a digital photographer, musician, model and more with a love for electronics, videogames, robots, and anything cute.

Recently, these five collaborated together to make XXX of Wonder’s first debut mini album WONDER of WONDER and uploaded their lead track Lucid Dream Madonna (明晰夢マドンナ) to YouTube, which I’ve embedded up there at the top of this blog entry. Give it a watch!

I plan on buying the mini album in order to support this amazing new collaboration of talent, and hope that others will also enjoy whatever they produce from now on!

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