Crazy Sunshine http://www.crazysunshine.com Artwork & Comics by Jkun Thu, 28 May 2015 04:02:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dev Blog Update #21: Blog Fixeshttp://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/05/devblog-update-21-blog-fixes/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/05/devblog-update-21-blog-fixes/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 15:34:32 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5233 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

I’ve went back and edited a bunch of blog entries, here’s the skinny:

  • Replaced broken image links
  • Deleted outdated Gallery posts
  • Fixed broken Blockquote CSS
  • Fixed broken Header CSS
  • Fixed loads of typos
  • Probably made even more typos in the process
  • As a spam countermeasure, all blog comment sections will be automatically closed after 30 days! This does not apply to comic pages.

Some other fixes:

  • Archive and Search results now display up to 50 entries. Test it out here when searching for all comics with “Lacie” in them!
  • Selection colour when dragging the mouse over text/images was changed to reflect the site’s new style.

Again, I really want to use this blog for more than just site updates, but I am always so busy to sit down and write about stuff! Hopefully I will get some time off this week to put something together.

Look forward to it, and thanks for reading!

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Achievement Unlocked: ENGAGE!http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/05/achievement-unlocked-engage/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/05/achievement-unlocked-engage/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 07:02:43 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5119 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

Amidst all the chaos of find an apartment and getting ready to move, I have some big news! I finally asked my girlfriend of four years, Rie, to marry me during Golden Week.

Spoiler, she said yes!

We’ll both be moving to Chiba come summer and can’t wait to start living together outside of Aomori.

This little house has been our home for the last four years, it’s where we started dating and spent every single weekend together since. I wanted to propose right here before our schedules got too busy and before we moved for good.

A big thanks to everyone on Facebook and Twitter for the support, please keep coming back to Crazy Sunshine to read more about whatever crazy adventures we get up to!

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Best Budshttp://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/04/best-buds/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/04/best-buds/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 01:23:50 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5103 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

Recently I’ve met a bunch of awesome artists online through Twitter and updated my links page with buttons leading to their blogs. You should check ’em out!

Believe it or not, it can get pretty lonely over here in Japan. I love making friends and want to improve my art through new advice and influences, so don’t be afraid to send me some tweets or pop into one of my Picarto or Twitch streaming sessions and chat away!

Multistream schedule:

  • Casually streaming every Monday to Thursday from 7pm ~ Midnight JST (GMT+8)
  • Use Picarto? Join us as a guest and you can join in too! (1 Guest slot per day)
  • No Picarto account? No worries! Simply follow the channel and you’ll get an automated notification every time the stream starts!

Thanks for reading!

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What’s Next?!http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/04/whats-next/ http://www.crazysunshine.com/2015/04/whats-next/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:31:32 +0000 http://www.crazysunshine.com/?p=5098 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

Spring is here, and amidst all the job hunting, Japanese learning, and the hustle and bustle of a new school year, I finally have some free time to blog! So, here’s what has been up:

Work

Since my last blog entry, I’ve tackled four job interviews throughout Japan. Some in Japanese, some in English, all of them extremely positive and resulting in job offers, so it’s time to decide which one I want to accept. While this choice isn’t as important as my initial decision to leave the UK and come to Japan in the first place, it’s still a pretty big one. There’s lots of differences in salary, insurance, pension payouts, and location. Some placements are in very cheap rural areas where I could comfortably afford a luxurious, brand new, three bedroom apartment, and some are slap bang in the middle of upper class Tokyo, where I would be paying the same amount of rent to live in a cardboard box.

While I can’t really disclose anything else until contracts are signed, I can say that all positions are related to teaching English. Sure, it’s been a dream of mine to make games in Japan for a living, but over these past five years I’ve realized that my actual dream was just to be in Japan, no matter what job I do. I am no longer a university graduate who can switch between careers at a whim, I have to approach this situation as an adult looking to settle down.

I won’t lie, Japan is an unforgiving bitch of a country to find work in when it comes to vidya games. From my experiences, even if you have extremely valuable contacts, a gleaming track record (zero drug abuse and zero felonies, including speeding tickets), perfect Japanese language ability, and a skillset that rivals even the most talented Pixiv artists, you will still be starting at the bottom of the barrel when you enter a company, with a salary that is next to nothing unless you live far, far away from Tokyo, adding up to 2 hours of commuting per day to your existing 15 hour shift.

But teaching English in a country that is completely starved of an interactive, fun and engaging education curriculum? Yeah, that’s where Japan is a warm, fuzzy, welcoming teddy bear. In most cases, teaching pays over double what anything in the videogame industry does. The hours perfectly coincide with school hours, holidays and breaks and plentiful, and in most cases, the work and style of classes are entirely up to the teacher. Some people teach English through songs and dance, others draw and play instruments. Heck, I’ve been to schools where kids are given a bunch of iPads filled with English games to help with their studying!

It gets better, too. Every position I applied for has incredible benefits for bilingual foreigners, even more than some translator jobs for big shot companies like Capcom or Square Enix.

I’m not sure if I can justify my choice any more, but then again, why should I have to? Teaching is some sort of secret skill I’ve discovered, and I will never regret watching my abilities as a teacher flourish in a country I have grown to love so much.

Plus, Japanese kids are the cutest little buggers ever.

Art

While searching for jobs, I was contacted by a company looking for a freelancer to create a 25 page PDF brochure for an English summer school. They were offering a lot of money, and I have a lot of free time from now until my contract with JET is over, so I took them up on the offer. Of course, I can’t disclose any more information, but that’s what all my art time as gone into over the last month!

The company uses a whole bunch of Adobe products for their work. I was terrified of anything Adobe that isn’t Photoshop, so was a bit sceptical at taking on the project at first. Over the last month I have grown to love both Illustrator and InDesign, going as far as buying brushes and plugins for Illustrator, and using ID to make PDFs for my current job. The project is almost done and quite frankly, I am glad! I can’t wait to get back into drawing freehand again!

I also might have started writing some random Crazy Sunshine scripts. I am a bit rusty, but damn, I missed writing about these guys! I seem to have turned Lacie’s foul mouth up to 11 and made Shelbie even stupider if that is even possible!

TV

Oh man, where to begin?! Hulu Japan has expanded immensely since it start started up last year, and there’s so many series I have gotten into that I really want more people to see, despite them being around outside of Japan for ages. Here are some snippets from Wiki, because if I start explaining them, I will never stop.

UTOPIA is a British drama series that follows a small group of people who find themselves in possession of the manuscript sequel of a cult graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments, which is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century. This leads them to be targeted by an organisation known as The Network, which they must avoid to survive. Using the manuscript, they must uncover the meaning hidden in its pages before the disasters depicted become reality.

WHITECHAPEL is a very modern take on the detective genre which combines the Victorian intrigue of the original case with the atmospheric backdrop of a contemporary East End of London. This is not simply about bloodthirstily recreating the Ripper murders, but rather focusing on the three main characters at the heart of the story and the black humour that binds the team together. Each series focuses on a different set of classical murders, with the overarching theme of “history repeats itself”. Whitechapel feels a lot like Life On Mars, only without the time travel gimmick.

WORKAHOLICS is a comedic, slice of life series I got into, but everyone probably knows of it by now! The three main characters became acquaintances at college where Blake and Adam were room-mates and Anders was their resident advisor, and, in a phase-of-life transition, continue to do things associated with college after dropping out (drinking, partying, pranks) as they transition into adulthood. The “friendship family’s” action is generally confined to the main characters’ house and their workspace, a cubicle the three of them share at a telemarketing company called TelAmeriCorp.

Don’t even get me started on anime. Last season’s Yowamushi Pedal and Idolmaster Cinderella Girls are over, but this season introduces Hibike! Euphonium from Kyoani, the adorable Oremonogatari serialization, and the continuation of Jojo among countless other new series. A new Digimon series is also starting soon, get hype!

Gaming

I am slowly getting tired of Final Fantasy 14. With the expansion coming out in summer completely clashing with my move and new job, I don’t think I will be buying it, as I just won’t have the time to re-level everything to the new level cap and re-grind, well, everything as fast as my friends will be able to. It was a fun ride, but I really don’t want to do it again.

With news of Final Fantasy 11 stopping its PS2 service and introducing its final expansion before it goes into intensive care, I went back for a while to see how much of the world has changed, but as always, the community is rotton and the game is incredibly boring and dated.

On the other hand, I am really getting into Final Fantasy 10 HD. I played for a bit as a kid without knowing anything of the franchise, but after years of experience I am tackling it again like a pro. I’ve been able to play it every time I travelled to and from Tokyo for interviews, and managed to get quite far without getting a game over once! I wish I had played it more as a cute, naive kid, honestly, as some parts – especially the awful English voice acting – make me cringe every time anyone opens their mouth.

FFportal’s Triple Triad app was released for smartphones and tablets in Japan. It uses the same UI as FF14’s Triple Triad minigame, and comes loaded with over 300 collectible cards. It is incredibly addictive. There is even worldwide matchmaking, and all the classic music and rules from Final Fantasy 8. It’s a damn good app, even if you have never played Triple Triad before.

Kantai Collection is still part of my daily gaming grind as I slowly reach Admiral rank 40. I managed to craft Yamato, one of the rarest and prettiest ships in the game, but nothing will tear me away from my love of Kongou.

Lastly, Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty finally came out on Steam and holy hell, it is incredible. A full HD remake of the classic Abe’s Oddysee game, with new graphics, music, and level design. It also has full Japanese support so even my girlfriend can experience how awesome Oddworld is, and will always be!

Phew, thanks for reading. If you did, that is! I will try to decide on a job by the end of the week, then it’s time to hunt for apartments!

Stay tuned!

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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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