Favourite Eurovision Songs of All Time.

Okay so this is ridiculously hard to do but Eurovision is on, next week!  So I wanted to post something up before hand because hey! for those that were with me last year, you’ll know just how big a Eurovision fan I am.  And really, I just can never get enough.  But making a list of all my favourite Eurovision Songs…well this is incredibly hard.  What’s harder will be numbering them.  So I decided the numbers are just marking the order in which my favourites came into my head, as opposed to what I think they should rank.  Also, because there are so many songs, I will probably have forgotten some, so be on watch for follow up posts sticking out here and there hehe.

 

1) Wild dances by Ruslana

Ugh my all time favourite and one of the first winners of Eurovision that I actually remember.  I think there’s no disputing it.  This is my favourite performance.

 

2) Fairytale by Alexander Rybak

Because I just love the sound of that violin and well…that smile.

 

3) Euphoria by Loreen

I liked her vocals…and that dance…loved it!

 

4) Randajad by Urban Symphony

Definitely one of my all time favourites even though I don’t understand a word, I just love it.

 

5) We Can Be the Same by MaNga

Omg…this is my favourite performance by Turkey, not just because it falls into my favourite category of  music or because I think the lead singer is cute, but because I love the lyrics.

 

6) Dum Tek Tek by Hadise

I always love Turkey’s performances, do I have to say anything else?

 

7) Drip Drop by Safura

Lyrics, voice, and I loved the performance overall.  To be honest, I wish Azerbaijan had won with this song instead of the other one.  I don’t know, I just really liked this one.

 

8) Apricot Stone by Eva Rivas

How can I forget?  I love this!  It’s not your ordinary pop song, with plenty of symbolism everywhere.

 

9) Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi

I think this speaks for itself.

 

10) My Number One by Elena Paparizou

I don’t really love the vocals in this, but the song is pretty catchy

 

11) Secret Combination by Kalomira

I liked this because it got stuck in my head and drove me crazy.

 

12) Satellite by Lena

Simple song, simple performance, quirky.

 

13) Always by Aysel and Arash

Always on my mind…after the Eurovision was over that year!

 

14) Love in Rewind by Dino Merlin

Omg…I love this one.  I just love the rhythm and the tune and well everything about the song

 

15) Lipstick by Jedward

One of the more interesting song performances of 2011, wasn’t my favourite, but I had it up there to be in the top ten

 

16) Waterline by Jedward

I actually like this song.  More than the Lipstick one, even though I like both.

 

17) La La Love by Ivi Adamou

I just love the original video clip for this.  And well, I got sucked into the story of the song.

 

18) One More Day by Eldrine

Not only does this fall into my favourite genre again, I think she has a great voice!

 

19) Feed Me Your Love by Margaret Berger

I loved this!!  I wish she won (even though I did like the winner as well), but I really loved her performance.And I can’t believe I only remembered it now,  it should be near the top (if I was doing this in order of my top favourites).

 

20) It’s My Life by Cezar

One of the whackier ones from last year with a song that totally grew on me since.

 

I definitely don’t think I’ve covered all my favourite songs from Eurovision, but I’ll leave it at 20 for now!!  EVERYONE get ready to party, Eurovision is coming ~!!!

 

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Ghost Hunt. Shiho Inada – Fuyumi Ono.


555430Ghost Hunt, Volume 1
by Shiho Inada

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great a great, gripping thriller to read. I thought it definitely ended way too soon, and if all thrillers were as intense as this one, I would no doubt read those too!

The Plot
PARTNERS IN FEAR

The decrepit building was condemned long ago, but every time the owners try to tear it down, “accidents” start to happen–people get hurt, sometimes even killed. Mai Taniyama and her classmates have heard the rumors that the creepy old high school is haunted–possibly by ghosts from the Second World War. So one rainy day they gather at the told school to tell ghost stories, hoping to attract one of the suspected spirits.

No ghosts materialize, but Mai and her friends do meet Kazuya Shibuya, the handsome young owner of Shibuya Psychic Research, who’s been hired to investigate paranormal activity at the school. Also at the scene are an exorcist, a Buddhist monk, a woman who can speak with the dead, and an outspoken Shinto priestess. Surely one of them will have the talents to solve this mystery. . . .

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English School Wars. Tomo Matsumoto.


9587790English School Wars vol. 01
by Tomo Matsumoto

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

jkhjkasfhuasdsdawehuehi….

Tomo Matsumoto knows how to screw with my head. Granted, this is a very excellent manga, it still screwed with my head. I’ve mentioned it before, right? When I read this mangaka’s works it feels more like a slideshow images that my brains somehow translates into words, rather than reading the words on the page. But this one, sigh, again, screwed with my head.

The Plot
Arisu hates English but her mom forces her to enter an English Conversational Class because Arisu plans to go to New York for her dad. Not to mention, she also hates dealing with foreigners; but now, she needs to attend English classes with Foreign teachers. She had an unsual encounter with Ish, her hot glasses-wearing English teacher, at her favorite 100 yen store which left the both of them a first bad impression with each other. Will there be a room for some kind of development… both for her hate in English… and her teacher?

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Keishichou Tokuhanka 007. Eiri Kaji.


11874662警視庁特犯課007 [Keishichou Tokuhanka 007], Volume 1
by Eiri Kaji

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really really really really really like this manga. It’s got a strong romance plot that keeps you wanting more, but also, equally as strong is the mysteries that Fuyuki is helping with!

The Plot
The “Special crime investigation department 007? includes the most capable and extraordinary investigators and Fuyuki, who also becomes one of its members, is very capable, to. And she is paired with Kuze, a cool and very bishonen detective. Their combination proves to be the most dangerous one the police headquarters had ever seen!

The plot is undoubtedly worth reading. It’s like any police investigation manga, and both Fuyuki and Kuze are partners. Throughout the series, they solve a number of crimes, and both Kuze and Fuyuki get to showcase their awesomeness. Intertwined are the stories behind Kuze and Fuyuki, which are revealed bit by bit as they get to know each other better.

The Characters
Fuyuki> I love Fuyuki! She’s a dainty character, yet she’s also incredibly strong. She has special ESP and PK (telekinesis) powers and though she doesn’t have much control over them, throughout the series, she uses them to help solve crimes, and is able to control them to her surprise. What’s more, I like that she is compatible with Kuze (even if she is 9 years younger), she’s a bit bratty, but a lot of the time, she’s very mature too. She’s the clever kind of protagonist, also headstrong, but not as bad as the protagonist from Library Wars: Love & War 1. She’s pretty as well, not that she notices, and which I find rare in a lot of shojo manga, since most of the protagonists feel that they’re too plain, too short, or just too-not-good-enough, which after awhile, gets really annoying. But Fuyuki is not like that. In fact, I really like her character. She’s great! Considering that she constantly runs into trouble while working with the police force, but she knows that Kuze will come for her, as well as the fact that she’s capable of handling herself in most situations. What’s more, I’m curious about her character, since there has been little revealed about her character in comparison to Kuze’s. I reckon later on, there might be several chapters that’ll reveal more about Fuyuki’s background rather than just the bits and pieces that I’ve seen so far. I get that there’s more to her background than what I’ve seen so far, and I’m curious!

Kuze> I love Kuze too! And it’s NOT a fangirl crush. I love Kuze’s compatibility with Fuyuki. He’s a hard person, who rarely shows emotion because of his past, and because well, it’s a bother. He tends to sleep alot after not sleeping for several days, and every time Fuyuki goes looking for him, he manages to grab her and put her in a compromising position at the worst time (usually when the rest of the team bursts in, but he never intends anything beyond stopping her from being annoying). Kuze also is very gentle with Fuyuki, and while he’s not rude to everyone else, it’s more like he skips all things polite and just gets straight to the point, which generally leaves people a little shocked and uneasy. I like Kuze because he’s got a little more stuffing that 80% of the male love interests in shojo manga.

Kuze & Fuyuki> Where I’m up to, they’re still not together yet. I cannot wait until they get together, because there is just so much chemistry between them. From the beginning to that point, Kuze and Fuyuki have (view spoiler) and are very close. They do argue, but not that much, rather, it’s Fuyuki doing something impulsive, and Kuze chasing her, then making sure she gets out safe, and then tending to her. He does scold her, but like an older brother to a younger sister. And I like that their relationship is one of those where both parties clearly like each other, and at some degree the guy has shown some possession over the girl, and cause the girl like him, lets him, but neither have actually admitted their feelings for the other yet, or at least they haven’t passed the stage of being something beyond friends/partners.

Supporting characters> It’s hard to say much, since the recurring characters are those on the team (but compared to Kuze and Fuyuki, their roles are significantly minor) and Kuze’s family. Both parties of people show up, but at the same time (where I’m up to) haven’t played as big a role as the two main protagonist.

The Setting
Japan.

Writing/Artwokr
Good writing, but a bit plain. It’s the action, I feel, that’s the real draw here.
Artwork. It’s not terrible, and I’m probably more leaning towards pretty drawing, since it’s definitely pleasant to look at.

Overall
I really want to finish this manga, but since I’m reading online this time, there are only 19 chapters up. I’m dying to finish it, I really love Fuyuki&Kuze. I love the mysteries, and really, I want to know more about Fuyuki, there’s a mystery around her character.

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Haou Airen. Mayu Shinjo.


2021858覇王 • 愛人 1
by Mayu Shinjo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first words to this is: Don’t read this unless you’re prepared not only for mature content, but brutal and painful experiences for both female and male protagonists. This is the first manga about mafia where for once there isn’t a flowery cover or some pretence of morality. This is bloody, gory, heartless. It is everything a mafia story is supposed to be about, and half the time I felt really uncomfortable reading it. But it’s realistic, and of all of Shinjo Mayu‘s work I think it’s the most tragic. Kaikan Phrase, Vol. 1 and Love Celeb 1were kittens compared to this ferocious tiger. If you want something sweet and sexy, read Love Celeb. If you want something a little more hardcore, a little sexier, a little more dramatic, read Kaikan Phrase. But if you want something painful, almost bloody awful (in the experiences that the characters good through, and by awful I mean dramatic and cruel) then read this.

Plot
I thought I should discuss this section first since it’s the most important thing. Haou Airen is another perfect manga by Mayu Shinjo. Yes it is painful and uncomfortable a lot of the time. It’s also ruthless and uncensored. Hakuron is the leading Mafia boss in Hong Kong, Kurumi is an innocent girl who just happened to save Hakuron’s life when she bumps into him. They fall in love with each other, and to begin, they are going along great with each other. Hakuron is the perfect guy to Kurumi, gently, kind, just like she expected, but he’s protecting her. She knows nothing about his life and how he is a mafia. And because of that when Hakuron’s fiance comes into play, things change quickly, people get hurt, killed and murdered and everyone else knows what’s happening, including Hakuron. Only Kurumi is still naive, and thus the conflict starts. How do these two deal, it’s only a matter of time before Hakuron breaks her, even if he loves her, and that’s what he doesn’t want.

The Characters
Kurumi is a really sweet, endearing yet naive girl. She’s easily tricked, easily fooled. She’s too kind-hearted which is why she’s tricked in the beginning and therefore creates the conflicts that lasts a few volumes. I guess her good points are that she is kind-hearted, naive, completely pure as well as honest to her feelings and herself. Her negative points in my opinion are well, she is a little weak to be in that position, to be in love with Hakuron. Yet, at the same time, a good compliment. I really hate that she believed Hakuron’s fiance over Hakuron. It was so naive. But then again, without it, I guess there’d be no plot would there?
Hakuron is the smexiest most dangerous male protag I’ve encountered yet in Mayu Shinjo’s mangas. I liked Gin from Love Celeb because he was the kind of character that was conscious of his smexiness and who was also boyishly childish (and a little wolfish). Sakuya in Kaikan Phrase was hot in the musician kind of way. He puts Aine above everything else which makes him smexy. But Hakuron, Hakuron is dangerous. He’s the leader of an extremely powerful mafia group and he’s known to be colder than ice. Yet he’s in love with Kurumi. To only Kurumi, he’s kind and gently, and he doesn’t want to spoil her, until events take place and really, I don’t want to go into details.
But both characters are well formed, delectably defined and unique. They have power, fear, sadness, happiness, wants, needs, desires. Shinjo’s characters always feel realistic to me. I never feel that I’m reading about some airhead who can’t decide between her old love and her new love, and I never feel like I’m being pressured to accept their reasoning. I understand and feel attached. That’s why I love Shinjo’s characters. They don’t feel fake, except how sometimes they are a bit stupid. But in the grand scheme of things, as a whole, those little moments make up the big moments.

Setting
In Hong Kong, China this time, rather than a Japanese location, something which I thought was interesting even though they are still speaking Japanese, lol

Writing And Artwork
I think Shinjo’s works have always been flawless. I’ve never really had any objections with them since the only times I ever feel annoyed/angry/uncomfortable is when something brutal happens. Like Rape or something. Rape is pretty big in a couple of her mangas, which is why I say DON”T READ THIS UNLESS YOU”RE PREPARED. Anyway, so writing pretty much 5/5 stars.
As for Artwork. Since this is a book site, I don’t really think artwork matters much, shouldn’t this be about reading? And the experience of reading? Well if you want to know Shinjo’s artwork has always been the easy to handle type, goodlooking and pretty. Though the guys always look like the ideal guy, tall broad shouldered with smexy long hair that almost dangles in his eyes. The females always look small, slender and cute. Generally their chests are a reasonable size too. But meh, for me if the story is good, I can deal with the artwork. If the artwork is irritating than the story really good from the get go. But Haou Airen is just fantastic as always (the artwork I mean).

Overall
I give this four stars. Just like the other Shinjo mangas, because it is good, but it’s also dramatic. I love her romances, and this one, I like as well. The end I can’t tell you, it will ruin it, but you have to be prepared. Don’t read this lightly, it’s not a happy manga, even if there are happy moments. This is the mafia we’re talking about. Shinjo is so far the only mangaka (that I’ve read) that could be so brutally honest about such an aspect of life. This is no simple romance. I think you can almost think about it as a story about two people finding the strength to be stronger.
Also rather than this focussing on the female protag, I’d rather like to think of this as Hakuron’s story rather than Kurumi’s.

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Gold. Kazuko Fujita.


Gold Vol. 1Gold Vol. 1
by Kazuko Fujita

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first Harlequin romance. I was bored and I wanted something dramatic…and I ended up picking this up. I was surprised when I saw the manga cover and read western names, but when I started reading it, I guess I ended up getting sucked into it. I have to admit, this is a very good, if but a VERY dramatic series. It makes me want to read the original novel. Oh, and I love this manga artist’s drawings, I think the art is very attractive and beautiful.

The Plot
Bronte is running away from a failed wedding ceremony in the rain when she finds a cabin for shelter, occupied by a blood-soaked man with Gold eyes, who claims he just killed a man. His name is Mars West, and on impulse he kisses her, just as the police come to drag him away.

Five years later Bronte comes to New York to see Mars, who spent three years in prison for the murder it turns out he didn’t commit. Then things get strange…

This is a soap opera of the highest order, with machinations and manipulations that only the very rich could get away with…

Based on Ann Major‘s novel, “Secret Child”.
This premise doesn’t say much. It’s important that it’s noted that Mars West’s wife Chantal plays as big a role as Bronte and Mars. Especially since she has gone missing for five years, and the reason why the police were after Mars in the first place.

I guess my favourite part in the entire series is when Bronte finally gets rid of Chantal as the model “Mischief Jones” since both Bronte and Chantal look exactly the same (due to a plot development in the first volume which I won’t say). When that happens, everything unravels for Chantal, but brightens a bit for Bronte, who becomes the official new “Mischief Jones” model.

The Characters
Bronte annoyed me at first, not when she meets Mars, but when she first has her plastic surgery. But as I read her character, I really got more and more the need to follow her character and to agree that what she was doing was right. Her interactions with Mars though are both sweet and spicy. Especially at the start when he doesn’t believe that she is the real Bronte and not his wife Chantal.
Chantal is pretty twisted throughout most of the series and I don’t like her one bit, not for what she does to Bronte (despite saving her) and not for what she does to Mars (even though Mars hates and has used her worse). But her ending is not so bad, I just felt that Bronte, with throwing herself at everyone to save them felt a little bit repetitive, especially by the time it came to the final confrontation between Chantal, Mars and Bronte.
Mars. Stubborn, smexy and rich, is the ultimate Harlequin romance love interest. And he’s just as complex and dramatic as all others, with his own reasons for doing things the way he does and choosing things to happen they happen. Unfortunately it’s only when it’s too late does he realise that between his two great loves, there was really only one main choice. I guess this is what I hate about romances, the conflict when it is clear which decision was the one that should have been made. But I guess without that conflict there would have been no story. Sigh. Well, it worked out for the best.
The supporting cast, all of them were likeable and hate-able, even Mars’s brother. His decision to divorce was surprising. But not quite when it’s clear why.

Setting
The US I think?

Writing/Artwork
I’ve come to really like the artwork by this mangaka. I think it’s very pretty.
Writing, just the same as any well written manga. Though towards the end, I think Bronte forgives too many people and plays the role of saint too much, thinking words will save the day…it kind of got annoying.

Overall
I think this manga is definitely worth reading. For a Harlequin manga it’s not all completely stupid, and relatively enjoyable, if a bit dramatic (this might just be an understatement). I’m not sure what the original story is like, but this is pretty good as a read for those after a bit of drama. Makes me want to read the original story!

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List of Harlequin Romance Manga

Library Wars: Love & War. Kiiro Yumi.


Library Wars: Love & War 1 (Library Wars: Love & War, #1)Library Wars: Love & War 1
by Kiiro Yumi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great, funny, and it’s probably the first manga where the guy is slightly shorter than the girl! And I’m not annoyed by it!!!

The Plot
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves–the Library Forces!

Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!
Hence this premise = lots of action, one hardcore, sometimes stupid (but not annoying stupid) female protag, a couple of hot interesting team mates and romanceeeeeeee! Wheeee loved it!!!

The Characters
Iku Kasahara> omg I love her!! She’s kickass. She’s funny-stupid (her priorities are always in the wrong order). She’s honest. She’s loud. She’s got a good heart. And she knows her stuff (eventually. If she knows she has to learn more, then she would go and learn more, even at the risk of pimples – don’t ask).

Atsushi Dojo> the love interest. Next to Iku, he is actually five centimetres shorter (he’s 165cm and Iku is 170cm) so he’s always at the butt of her jokes. Well, as much as a junior officer can say to a senior officer. Dojo is a pretty interesting character, he works well with Iku and I love how their characters contrast. Their sexual tension is like way up there (so far I can’t even see it anymore) yet, there’s nothing more than hugs and comforting touches. So I totally want to keep reading to the moment they get together…anyway. Dojo is gruff and actually the person Iku looks up to, but she doesn’t recognise him (read it and understand. I’m not going to tell you what that plot is all about), so it irks him a bit. He works Iku to the bone, yells at her a lot, but generally praises her when she does good. His character is not like those cold cool types that girls fall in love with because, well, they’re cool. No, Dojo is cool in the sense, that he can be an ass, but he also has a sense of humour and is a nice guy, generally, and basically, actually has a good personality (compared to the cool guys with a bad personality).

Supporting cast> love every single one of them and their stories. I love their interaactions, especially when it comes to Iku and I especially love it when one of them asks Iku out, but not because he likes her, but because he was told to “get along” with her. Haha that was hilarious, especially her reaction after!

Setting
Near, futuristic dystopia society where library books are at stake, as well as the ability to read anything uncensored.

Writing/Artwork
Love it, it’s good and humourous, engaging, I feel interested.
Artwork: There were actually two copies of this volume-same author, but different artists, I actually prefer this one, I think it’s more comfortable? Anyway, the other one wasn’t bad either. So good artwork!

Overall
Awesome manga! Love it, must be read.

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